Dick Walter is director of facilities management at the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware; he can be reached at d_walter@mail.facilities.udel.edu. This is his first article for Facilities Manager.

The University of Delaware operates two indoor ice rinks. The Gold Ice Arena was built in 1971 and has an ice surface of 16,427 square feet. The mechanical systems were the original 30-year-old equipment. The Rust Ice Arena was built in 1988 and has an ice surface of 18,732 square feet.

The mechanical systems were the original 13-year-old equipment. The design of the equipment in this arena was marginal, as it was part of a low-cost design build project. The mechanical systems in the Gold Ice Arena had reached the end of their useful life and needed immediate replacement to prevent significant maintenance outages.

The Fred Rust Ice Arena and the Gold Ice Arena are home to the university's Ice Skating Science Development Center, a year-round training facility designed to meet the needs of first-time competitors and Olympic champions alike. Its primary goal is to assist athletes and coaches in reaching their maximum potential. The center, housed in state-of-the-art facilities, provides the most complete training environment in the United States. Training facilities include two ice surfaces, strength and aerobic training rooms and a dance studio. Coaching is available from the most recognized national and international coaches in the sport of figure skating.

The University of Delaware is also home to the University Club Hockey team, the four-time defending ECHA Champions.

The ice arenas also offer a wide range of skating and hockey programs to fit everyone's skating ability. Community Class and Basic Badge programs are designed for the beginning and intermediate skater, and the Junior Blue Hen Hockey Program offers instruction on basic skating and hockey skills.

The ice arenas also offer public skating sessions throughout the year, host national and world send-off ice skating exhibitions, and are available for rental groups.

The two ice rinks consumed in an average year 5,084,150 kilowatt hours of electricity and 10,638 thousand cubic feet of natural gas, for an annual cost of $384,727. We realized that there would be an opportunity to greatly reduce these costs, improve the quality of the ice, and replace some outdated equipment. Unfortunately, capital was not directly available to finance this major project.

We contacted the local utility, Conectiv, and asked them to develop a proposal to provide a fixed price project with guaranteed annual energy savings for a ten-year period. Two financial alternates were considered to finance this proposal: the first would have Conectiv providing the funds and recouping their investment and interest from the guaranteed savings; the second being the university borrowing the investment and paying it back over ten years with the savings. The second alternate was chosen.

The required investment was $1,350,000 and the guaranteed savings were 1,578,440 kilowatt hours of electricity and 3,784 thousand cubic feet of natural gas. The first full year of operation saw electrical consumption reduction of 1,721,400 kwh (109 percent of the guarantee) and 5,845 cubic feet of gas (154 percent of the guarantee). The savings are based on the meters that serve the buildings with no artificial adjustments. The consumption is also monitored using the ENERWISE Platform by Enerwise Global Technologies, Inc.

The project consisted of several mechanical upgrades and technological improvements. Some of these items include: