Juan Ontiveros, champion of campus energy efficiency, wins industry group’s highest honor

Over the past 15 years, the UT Austin campus has nearly doubled in size from about 9 million square feet to nearly 17 million square feet. Yet today we use the same amount of fuel as in 1996. We’ve achieved carbon-neutral growth through increased efficiency.

Juan Ontiveros

The key player in this accomplishment is Juan Ontiveros, our executive director of utilities and energy management. Last month, the International District Energy Association (IDEA) awarded Mr. Ontiveros its highest honor, the Norman R. Taylor Award, at the group’s 103rd Annual Conference in Chicago.

IDEA president and CEO Robert Thornton said Mr. Ontiveros “embodies all that is important and valuable about this prestigious award. Juan Ontiveros is a giver, not a taker.”

Under Juan’s guidance, UT Austin has invested nearly $150 million in energy efficiency and capacity upgrades over the past decade, all of which have been paid for in energy savings. The IDEA stated: “UT Austin is recognized as one of the most efficient and reliable campus energy systems in the United States, if not the world.”

Juan’s award is a powerful reminder that excellence at UT Austin is driven by our staff every bit as much as by our faculty, students, and alumni. His accomplishments should make us all proud.

Watch this short video made last year in which Juan explains UT’s incredible gains in energy efficiency.

Thank you, Juan, for what you’ve done for The University of Texas.

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  1. Thank you for posting this informative article. Congratulations to Mr. Ontiveros for the prestigious honor he received from IDEA. It’s mind-boggling to think about the fact that the campus uses still the same amount of energy as it did when it was only half its current size. The most impressive piece of data to me was that the $150 million invested in energy efficient improvements has been completely paid for by the resulting energy savings. I believe a lot of people underestimate the impact that energy efficient improvements, such as replacement windows, insulation, or roofing, can have on heating and cooling bills. Projects like this provide an incredible return on investment, which we can see supported firsthand by looking at the 100% return that UT experienced from an initial $150 million investment. Thanks again to the author of this article, and especially to Mr. Ontiveros for showing such admirable passion for this great cause!