Sustainability - Energy

Wartburg College is dedicated to shrinking our footprint by reducing our energy consumption, in turn managing utility expenses and operation costs.

Fiscal Year 2016 Sustainability Report

 Energy Improvements

Wartburg College hired Schneider Electric, an energy consulting firm, to implement a $2.4 million energy efficiency project through utility improvements starting November 2010 through March 2011. The project started from an audit performed in spring 2010 by Schneider Electric. One-third of the estimated cost of the project was funded by a grant from the state Office of Energy Independence through a U.S. Department of Energy program. Overall, the project is projected to save $270,000 annually in utility costs.

2012 Energy Efficiency Improvements

Water improvements

  • 64 toilets in the residential bathrooms and 38 toilets in academic buildings were replaced with 1.28 gpf toilets.
  • 24 toilets in Afton Manor had their flush valves retrofit to 2.7 gpf.
  • 12 urinals in academic building had valves retrofit to low-flow specifications.
  • 307 sink faucets in residential buildings and 198 sink faucets in academic buildings have been replaced.
  • 175 showers in residential shower rooms have ben retrofit with 1.25 gpm massage type, non-tamper resistant showerheads.
  • Showers in Wartburg-Wellness Center have been retrofit with 1.5 gpm showerheads.
  • A flow control system has been installed on the Pot Wash garbage disposer in the Main Kitchen.
  • These upgrades are expected to save around 6,500 gallons of water annually.

Gas efficiency

  • New motorized isolation valves have been added to the Science Center. The boiler’s new motorized isolation valves reduce the required pump horsepower, the amount of hot water flow (gpm), and thus will reduce the amount of natural gas that the boilers use, by reducing the number of boilers in operation.
  • A new heat recovery chiller has been installed in the W. Heat recovery chillers preheat water with heat produced by cooling the cold water line.
  • The boiler in Luther Hall and Neumann Auditorium was replaced. The new boiler has an energy efficiency of 93%, as opposed to the current boiler which has an energy efficiency of about 65%.

An estimated170,000 therms or 17,000 MMBTU’s are anticipated to be saved from these improvements.

Electrical efficiency

  • Motion sensors for lighting were installed into each building timed to shut off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • In addition, about 4000 light fixtures have been retrofitted or replaced with more efficient fluorescent lighting
  • New energy management systems were installed to insure heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are operated efficiently, yet provide comfort conditions in areas when occupied. During unoccupied hours, the systems will monitor their assigned areas to determine how to efficiently run heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.
  • Maintenance staff installed photosensitive lighting, or lighting that recognizes if it needs to be on or not by the amount of light that is already present in a space.

These improvements are estimated to save 1,600,000 kWh of electricity and 1,900 kW of power.

Conservation Tips

  • Unplug your electronics when not in use or charging, especially over breaks.
  • Use a CFL in your lamp instead of overhead lights.
  • Use an energy star fridge in your room and use only one.
  • Sign up to “Be Green Certified” with the Sustainability Office.
  • Participate in eco challenges, events and clubs on campus.
  • Turn off lights 


When you consider the cost of buying, insuring, maintaining, and fueling a vehicle you must ask yourself “is it really necessary?”

Ride Sharing
Consider sharing the ride, which shares the cost. Whether you are seeking a ride, or a passenger, you can create a post under classifieds in the info center. Once you are on the classifieds page, just select "Rides" to see what is available, or select "create a post" to do so. A detailed "how to" is below.
How to create a Ride Share listing in the Info Center.pdf
Bicycle Rental
The Bicycle Rental Program is available through Vogel Library and open to Wartburg students, faculty, and staff.  Bicycles can be checked out for 4 hours at a time. 

Sharing a ride to leave your car at home is a great way to save money and make new acquaintances. Communicate with people from your hometown, region, or neighborhood to see if you can share the costs. The person with the car should be happy to have someone share their costs, and those without are happy to have a ride.

Public Transportation
The Regional Transit Authority operates a demand-response system, meaning it plans the route based on calls. To gather more information call them at 319-233-5213. In the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area there is a Metro Transit Authority, which provides regular routes. Schedule information can be found at http://www.mettransit.org/html/schedules.html. Taxi and cab services are also available in the area. 

Wartburg Transportation
The International Programs office offers transportation for shopping purposes on a semi-regular basis. Contact the office for details and eligibility at x8220

UhaulCarShare made a Toyota Prius and a Scion XB available for either an hourly ($4.95 plus 49 cents per mile) or a flat rate ($8.50 for the Scion and $9.50 for the Prius) to members of the college community who meet eligibility requirements.

Once you are a member you can reserve cars across the country that are part of the program. Cars are being added regularly so keep checking www.ucarshare.com for locations.

How it Works

Join - A UhaulCarShare membership requires completing an online application at www.ucarshare.com with notification of acceptance within 24 hours. 

  • Students 18-20 must be moving-violation free. 
  • Those 21 and over can be disqualified for having excessive moving violations.
  • International drivers welcome.
Reserve - The online reservation system will show which vehicles are available. Reserve days in advance or just a few minutes before needing an available car. Students can reserve cars online, by phone, and through text messaging. Members will receive a PIN to unlock the car and use with a gas card.
Drive – The cars are parked on the east side of Saemann Student Center. Upon arriving at the vehicle, members enter in a PIN number and the doors will unlock. Keys are tethered to the steering column. When done with a reservation, members return the vehicle to the same spot. Hit the lock button, the doors will lock and the reservation is over. The cars will be available on a 24/7 basis and must be returned to the designated area.