NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University will negotiate with an energy services company to conduct a detailed energy audit identifying opportunities for greater environmental sustainability, energy conservation and savings. This establishes SFA as one of the leading Texas universities in creating a "green" campus.

Bob Garrett of Tyler, chairman of the building and grounds committee of the SFA Board of Regents, noted that, according to The Princeton Review, 60 percent of students consider campuses' environmental initiatives when deciding which college to attend.

"So, it's more than saving money on energy, it's a new way to approach the marketing of SFA," he said. "The whole country is moving in this direction, and it is very, very important that we have the right partner going forward."

The regents voted to sign a letter of intent with Siemens after hearing presentations from the firm and two other energy services companies during a special meeting Friday afternoon.

Siemens will develop an energy conservation program that may include plant infrastructure renovation and replacement, the use of alternative energy and other conservation practices. The university's intent is to fund the energy conservation program with savings realized from current utility budgets.