Energy conservation efforts at Colorado State University that have saved an estimated $19 million over the past 15 years were recognized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has added Colorado State to its 1997 Honor Society of colleges and universities in recognition of outstanding efforts to reach energy-efficiency goals.
The university’s award-winning efforts include recent changes made on campus as a result of a campuswide lighting program implemented in conjunction with the EPA’s Green Light Program. The lighting survey recommended the best locations to replace incandescent lights with flourescents, determined how many exit lights would be replaced with more efficient technology and determined the most effective ways to use occupancy sensors that turn lights on and off automatically.
As a result of the survey, Facilities Management officials have begun installing occupancy sensors in restrooms on campus and laundry rooms in residence halls and apartments to conserve energy. Other conservation steps include reducing the use of incandescent lamps and replacing old and inefficient exit lights with low-energy, long-life lights, as well as installing low-flow faucets and water-conserving toilets. Several residence hall kitchens also have had sensors installed at hand-washing sinks that automatically turn water on and off.
"We are continuously monitoring the university’s energy use and finding new ways to improve conservation. This award from the EPA recognizes those continuous efforts," said Heidi Mechtenberg, a Facilities Management technician who assists with the university’s energy conservation program.
The university’s energy conservation efforts are spearheaded by Mechtenberg and Greg Marsh in Facilities Management and by Cam Elvheim at the Housing Service Center.