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Bucknell Earns Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal Certification

Bucknell is only the second university in the world to achieve PEER certification

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell University is just the second university and fourth organization in the world to achieve Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).

PEER is the nation’s first comprehensive, consumer-centric, outcome-driven system for evaluating and improving power system performance. It is a comprehensive framework for defining, specifying and assessing sustainable performance of power generation, transmission and distribution. The program enables project teams to assess their current state, develop strategies for improvement, and verify the value of system changes.

“PEER certification is relatively new and recognizes us as a world leader in terms of best practices for how to manage electrical distribution,” said Ken Ogawa, Bucknell associate vice president for facilities.

Since 1998, the Bucknell Cogeneration Plant has supplied electricity to the campus and to the local utility grid. The plant has supplied 90 percent of the electricity used on campus during that time in a highly reliable and efficient manner. The plant operation has reduced the university’s carbon footprint by more than 40 percent from 1996 levels. It also has supplied 123 million kilowatt hours of electricity to the local utility displacing electricity generated primarily from coal.

Improvement and maintenance of the generation and distribution systems has produced reliable electricity service to the campus. Unscheduled interruptions averaged less than seven minutes per year over the past three years, with the vast majority of the campus experiencing no unscheduled outages.

“Bucknell’s Cogeneration Plant produces both steam and electricity from the same natural gas fuel source,” said Jim Knight, Bucknell director for energy and utilities. “Recovering waste heat from the electricity generation process to produce steam makes the process two to three times more efficient than a conventional utility power plant. The ability to produce electricity on site has reduced Bucknell’s utility costs by more than $1 million annually.”

PEER certification recognizes:
• Reliability and resiliency—Ensures the reliable delivery of electricity and reduces injuries, interruptions and power quality issues.
• Energy efficiency and environment—Assesses the environmental impact of electricity generation and transmission and encourages the adoption of clean and efficient energy.
• Operational effectiveness—Leverages value gap analysis to identify and eliminate waste.
• Consumer contribution—Assesses customer contribution to grid service, investment and innovation.

“The Bucknell Cogeneration Plant certification represents tremendous leadership in power system performance,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI. “PEER has the power to transform and innovate power grid performance and initiatives like Bucknell’s play a critical role.”

Projects that meet all prerequisites and achieve the required number of points are awarded PEER certification in recognition of outstanding performance. The PEER criteria are designed to reward implementation of industry best practices and encourage the adoption of new, innovative strategies. PEER helps industry stakeholders dramatically improve system performance by providing operators with a framework for continuous improvement and performance assessment that leads to greater efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions and greater power quality.

PEER was acquired by GBCI in 2014 and modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system. Educational resources and an introduction to the PEER rating system is available at


CONTACTS: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212,  570-286-6266 (c),; Sarah Stanley, U.S. Green Building Council, 202-742-3241,

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