Schools and universities have been at the forefront of the green movement through energy savings programs and growing environmental campus awareness.
Green Campus Initiatives, ranging from conservation efforts and participation in Campus Conservation Nationals, have made great strides in reducing energy usage on campuses and educating students on the green movement itself.
While energy usage only accounts for about 3.5% of a university’s budget, universities spend an average of about $7 billion annually on energy usage. Universities and schools who cut down on energy usage can reinvest energy savings into their own academic programs and expand as a result.
Cutting down on energy usage can either come from investing in new equipment or operating adjustments to identify areas where energy usage can be cut. Here are some energy savings tips for schools and universities to loosen their budget and reduce their carbon footprint.
1. Frequently schedule setback schedules to reprogram thermostats and lighting equipment that is overridden for one-time usage
2. Identify peak demand usage, which accounts for approximately 30% of a university’s utility’s bill
3. Turn off all equipment not in use, ranging from student’s computers to the faculty department’s own appliances
4. Install occupancy sensor lights in every institutional room to save on lighting bills
5. Switch to CFL or LED bulbs, which consume less energy, last longer, and provide better lighting for students
Heating and Cooling
6. Install energy management systems to create heating and cooling timing schedules for peak and limited usage
7. Purchase programmable thermostats that can reduce the operating costs of heating/cooling low occupancy areas
8. Upgrade any outdated HVAC systems and ensure that maintenance departments frequently clean all condenser coils and furnace filters for peak efficiency
Operating Office Equipment
9. Institute double-sided printing rules that cut down on paper costs and reduce printer usage
10. Use surge protectors and smart power strips that limits the amount of energy being drawn from equipment that is left plugged in
11. Install vending machine controllers that reduce compressor run times to keep beverages and snacks at a low temperature
12. Invest in ENERGY STAR appliances that limit energy usage and last longer