Conservation succeeds through the cooperation of two groups: the campus building managers and the residents. Building managers strive to keep their residence hall’s systems operating efficiently and when funds are available, pursue energy conservation renovations to reap pay-offs in future years. Building managers often know the size of their utility bills; residents do not. Most often, no one pays attention to how the energy is being consumed and whether any of it can be saved – so, you see, everyone pays by doing nothing.
The choices residents make daily do add up. Over 2 million dollars spent annually for steam, water and electricity are used by housing facilities alone. Our costs each day are even higher when we sometimes don't even need to use energy. For example, we are charged a higher kilowatt-hour rate by the local power company for electric consumption during peakdemand periods, namely weekdays during business hours. Rates are determined by highest usage rate between the months of May through September. This example is over-simplified; however, if one kilowatt cost $12/month and everyone can save one kilowatt per day during peak times, it would save over $20,000/year of energy. The energy saved is the coal and fossil fuel that makes up the carbon foot-print in our community.
Energy conservation not only saves our environmental resources, but it saves your money too. In residence halls, we are increasingly committed to finding and using better means to conserve or avoid energy waste. We need your help to be more successful.
Thermostats in study rooms can be reset to a higher or lower temperature to use less energy at night or when not in use. Most lights can be turned off in lounges and bathrooms when the last person leaves since many of these spaces have one light fixture on at all times for safety. Keep the temperature setting on the highest comfortable setting when someone is in the room to conserve energy. Cooling an empty room is a waste of energy.
Turn off room lights when you're not home. When studying, use your desk lamp, preferably with a fluorescent bulb, instead of the light in your room. Radios, televisions, computers and other electric devices do not need to be on when you're not in your room. Some residents add additional lighting in their rooms or apartments. Halogen torchière lights are cheap, but do not use them. Fluorescent Torchière lamps are now commonly available and produce equivalent light at 20% of electrical consumption. Use of fluorescent lamps will also decrease your fire hazard and keep your room more pleasant during the cooling season.
Conserve water by taking shorter showers. Keep sink faucets and shower fixtures from dripping and report those that do. Open your blinds only when necessary and see that they are closed when the sun is shining on the glass. Encourage others to conserve. Every person makes a difference. Be energy conscious – a green world is our joint responsibility – conserve natural resources. Our future generations may depend on the choices we make today. Be an Energy Watcher in your residence hall and on campus no matter where you are and what you're doing. Do not use halogen torchière lamps due to high fire risk.
The new compact type bulbs are generally an improvement over standard incandescent bulbs. They last longer and require less energy. They do, however, contain a small amount of mercury, a recognized health and environmental hazard. The hazards from a single bulb are extremely minimal. However, we encourage responsible handling of any products or materials that create potential health and environmental hazards. If you change a fluorescent bulb, please turn the old one in to your Resident Assistant, building maintenance or custodial staff.
While chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) continue to be reasonably safe for contact with humans, CFCs become a problem when vented into the atmosphere. For Residential Facilities, CFCs are found in residence halls in refrigeration units of water coolers and refrigerators.
Housing supports an aggressive recycling program by providing bins for residents and ensuring that scrap metals, cardboard and various other containers are recycled. We currently recycle paper, cardboard, plastics, and aluminum cans. Recycling bins are located on P3 at the University Commons, the loading dock at the University Lofts, in the trash room at the Patton Hall, in the outdoor trash area at Greek Housing, at the end of the hallway in Piedmont Central, and in the parking deck of Piedmont North. Our recycling efforts produce funds which are returned to the campus as a whole or offsets contracting cost. GSU recycling can be reached at (404) 413-0600. Many of the products we now use are considered “green” and or meet energy star compliance requirements.