MANHATTAN, Kan (KSNT) – Last year Kansas State University sent students home for months at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fall of 2020, the university began limited in person operations, sending students home. This decision ended up saving K-State some money on utilities.

“We still saved about probably one and a half million dollars overall in the utilities budget between 2019 and 2020,” Gary Weishaar said, with K-State Facilities.

Those savings combined with money received through the CARES Act has helped K-State make further improvements to reduce utility costs.

“Through the CARES ACT money, we did do several projects here in this last quarter of 2020 and installed some new HVAC equipment,” Weishaar said.

Although students are slowly returning to campus, the university is continuing to find ways to cut utility costs and save some money.

“Over the last several years we’ve been working pretty hard to try and find energy efficiency projects,” Weishaar said. “Installed the new chiller plant and did change the way we operate some things so our utility cost has been coming down over the last several years.”

K-State allotted $38.8 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year for “physical plant” operations, according to a budget fact card from the university.