audit finds waste,
for campuswide education, conservaton
The members of Jane Wolfson's
Environmental Science and Studies senior seminar stand firm in their
belief that small, conscientious acts can save the university hundreds
of thousands of dollars per year in electricity costs.
The 18 students
conducted a semester-long assessment that required them to gather,
analyze and synthesize information about how TU's faculty, staff
and students used--or misused--electricity for lighting and computers.
They had the full support
and cooperation of Facilities Management's energy coordinator, Leroy
McKee, in their efforts to gather information in Glen Tower B, Cook
Library, Enrollment Services and Smith Hall.
Their report, delivered
to the campus this week in a poster presentation, provided a less-than-flattering
picture of how we manage this increasingly costly resource.
Among the findings were:
TU could be wasting up
to about $66,800 of electricity annually by not turning off lights
in the four buildings studied.
The electricity wasted by not turning
off Smith Hall computers is estimated to cost TU more than $16,300
The report also called for establishing
a campuswide protocol for turning off lights and computers whenever
possible, as well as a coordinated energy-use education program
using a variety of media.
"The findings weren't
surprising, but they're still disturbing," says Wolfson. "People
say they conserve electricity at home, but clearly they're not as
cost-conscience on campus. This study shows there are lots of opportunities
to save money every day.
"It can be as simple
as flicking a switch to darken a room or shutting down a PC at the
end of the day."
For a copy of the
Electrical Energy Assessment at Towson University: How much
do we use, and how much could we save? call Jane Wolfson, x44920.
The assessment will be posted to the Environmental Science and Studies
Web site, www.towson.edu/ess/undergrad.html,
in a few weeks.
Story by Jan Lucas