Montana asks colleges to reduce energy use

f all the state-funded entities in Montana, the university system is the biggest consumer of electricity and natural gas.

In 2007, the state’s energy bill was $27.5 million. The cost to heat and light the university system was responsible for 58 percent of that expense, according to the office of Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Montana State University rang up the highest energy costs, amounting to roughly $3.3 million, followed by the University of Montana, which spent around $3.1 million.

Because energy costs consume a significant chunk of the state budget, Schweitzer has challenged executive branch agencies to reduce facility energy use 20 percent by 2010.

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