Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
FILE - People hang out on the quad in front of the Agricultural Sciences building at Utah State University in Logan on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Utah State University’s energy management team has completed a series of lighting upgrades at facilities across the state that it says will save nearly $50,000 and estimated 794,460 kilowatt-hours annually.

LOGAN — Utah State University’s energy management team has completed a series of lighting upgrades at facilities across the state that it says will save nearly $50,000 and an estimated 794,460 kilowatt-hours annually.

Zac Cook, USU’s energy manager, said the improvements will also reduce costs and aid in achieving the university’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

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“In total, the annual carbon dioxide reduction associated with the energy savings equates to 591 metric tons or the equivalent of the emissions from 127 vehicles driven for one year,” he said.

The annual energy savings is equivalent to taking nearly 74 homes off the grid for a year, according to Cook.

Rocky Mountain Power's Wattsmart program and the state Energy Efficiency Fund funded the projects through a $42,000 incentive and an interest-free loan. The projects represent $279,268 in improvements to the Logan campus and several regional campuses.

The annual cost avoidance will repay the loan over a five-year period.