Energy Energy cost is one of the largest, single
factors to have a lasting financial impact on our budget in a long
time. Despite an aggressive and proactive energy conservation program
on our campus (including the construction of a central plant), failed
deregulation and dramatic rate increases have had a tremendous impact
on the utility budget. While the shortage of electricity gets most
of the attention in the news, natural gas shortages are also a long-term
During 2000-01, our utility budget suffered
increased costs in penalties and rate increases of nearly $2 million.
While we no longer will be faced with penalties, substantial rate
increases will continue. Preliminary estimates would suggest the
shortfall for next year as high as $3 million.
The RPP Task Force recommends a $2 million
base budget augmentation for 2001-02. The Task Force understands
that if this allocation together with any augmentations from the
State is not sufficient to cover the increased utility costs, it
will necessitate a draw on the university's general reserves.
The RPP Task Force will continue to receive
status reports during the forthcoming year.