Summer Interns Do Energy Conservation

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:02:00 CDT  — by: Clesi Bennett, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow

bulbs_300This summer, the duPont Energy Conservation interns and the PowerSave Campus interns have hit the ground running and will be working primarily on three projects: the T8, 25-Watt Lighting Optimization Project, the Low-Flow Faucet Optimization Project, and the Green Office Certification Program.

In the lighting optimization project, all 32-watt linear fluorescent bulbs on campus will be replaced with 25-watt bulbs of equal brightness. The interns will simultaneously be in the process of de-lamping, or removing unnecessary bulbs from existing fixtures. This process of retrofitting and de-lamping will cut down energy costs and usage on campus by 20%. In the first month, the interns have already completed the project in several academic buildings, including: Walsh-Ellett, Woods, Spencer, duPont Library, Guerry, Carnegie, Gailor, and Hamilton Hall; a few administrative buildings, including: the Bishop’s Commons and University Health Services; and lastly several dormitories, including: Hoffman, Hunter, Cleveland, Gorgas, Quintard, Johnson, Hodgson, Phillips, and Wiggins Halls. Current annual savings of the lighting optimization project are 356,749.2 kWh and $35,674.90.

sink_275The faucet optimization project began last summer when PowerSave Campus intern Grace Saunders did an audit of dormitory sinks, finding the average water flow to be higher than necessary at 1.8 gallons per minute. This summer, the interns will be installing 550 aerators on dormitory sinks across campus to reduce the water flow to 0.5 gallons per minute. Based on usage patterns, the project is projected to save 50% of faucet water usage. Natural gas and subsequent carbon emissions will also be saved due to the decrease in hot water used.

The Green Office Certification  program, originally developed by PowerSave Campus intern Jordan Long, is based on a “4-Leaf” system, meaning there are four tiers of accomplishment, each with increasing difficulty and a widening circle of networking, for achieving a green office. With each leaf earned, faculty and staff will earn a leaf decal to display at their office. Tasks involve various practices in the realms of energy, recycling, waste reduction, transportation, kitchens and break rooms, events and meetings, purchasing, and participation. With each item completed, a faculty or staff member will earn points to ultimately achieve the 4 leaf decals. With this program, the interns hope, not only to achieve measurable benchmarks in becoming “green,” but also anticipate changes in thinking and behaviors to more sustainable ones that enable positive encouragement among participants and expansion of sustainable choices beyond campus. Summer 2013 looks to be one of real savings!

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