The Sustainable Energy Project is committed to helping EWU transition to using efficient energy, lighting, and heating systems on campus, as well as lowering our consumption. This will dramatically lower the University’s utility costs, while simultaneously reducing our environmental impact.
Of course, the first step is to lower consumption. We would do this by auditing the University’s current energy practices, and looking for creative ways to reduce the amount of energy used. For instance, we will develop plans to install energy-efficient, intelligent lighting systems that can turn themselves off when they are not needed, using timers and motion sensors. We would work with the Office of Information Technology to make sure that when computer labs are not being used, their computers are turned off, or at least doing something useful (such as running OpenMalaria or FightAIDS@Home) rather than running energy-wasting screensavers all night. We will ask everyone on campus to commit to rooms being 3 degrees hotter in summer and 3 degrees colder in Winter, to save on heating and cooling costs. All of these programs are small and easy to implement, but combined could potentially save the University tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year!
We will also be looking for ways help EWU transition to sustainable power sources such as wind, solar, and biomass.
The savings from our programs will be enormous, which is especially critical during a time when funding is in such short supply. We will ask that the University commit to reinvesting all of the savings from our projects into further upgrading of infrastructure, and other campus sustainability projects.