Campus

Energy Challenge calls for more measures

POSTED AT 11:35 PM ON Jan. 10, 2013 

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University officials are installing meters in buildings around campus to measure electrical usage. Though the meters have a radio read, many are not calibrated correctly.

Peggy Maschino, associate director of business affairs at the Department of Physical Plant, said they are working to ensure the meters read accurately and should be done in the next couple of months.

Maschino said IU’s electric bill for December was $1,181,300.37 for 7,515,279 kWh of electricity. That much energy could power a two-bedroom house with entirely electric appliances in Bloomington for more than a thousand years.

Many campus buildings, such as the Herman B Wells Library, leave lights on at all times. Memorial Stadium also leaves many lights on for long hours.

IU Athletics have their own budget separate from the University, but Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities Chuck Crabb said utilities are covered by campus and he “never sees the bill.”

Crabb said the stadium leaves the lights on for security purposes, and he said many are programed to shut off at midnight. However, other lights are left on to discourage vandalism, keep stairways illuminated and provide light for night staff.

“It is like keeping lights on in a house,” said Keith Cash, chief of police for the IU Police Department. “IUPD patrols the area on a regular basis, and it makes it easier for us to see if anyone is there, even from as far as 17th Street.”

In 2011, the Sustainable Endowments Institute issued IU a “B” on the College Sustainability Report Card rating, which is a report for energy consumption. However, an “A” was issued for student groups involved with the energy conservation movement. IU has a sustainability plan in place.

Every year, IU poses an energy conservation challenge to all campus buildings on campus. In fall 2012, the IU Energy Challenge team declared the Maurer School of Law, Simon Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and IU Cinema as the least conscious in water and electricity consumption among academic buildings. Foster Quad was the residence hall that used the most resources. The buildings that used the least amount of resources were Forest Quad, Student Recreational Sports Center and the Wright Education building.

“Promoting conservation behavior is an important strategy for reducing our energy and water usage, along with improving infrastructure and the energy efficiency of our facilities,” said Tom Morrison, vice president of capital planning facilities, in a press
release.

When the results were collected, it was found 10,554 kWh were saved during the three-week challenge.

“Energy Challenge has benefited from getting the campus fully metered, and now it is great to see that metering is allowing for expansion of this conservation initiative,” Morrison said.

 

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