Students Take A Stand On Energy Efficiency

By Patricia Adams
Staff Writer

tv_News 10dbMONTICELLO – The environmental economic students of the University of Arkansas at Monticello took a stand on electrical energy efficiency on campus.

   In May 2009, Governor Mike Beebe issued an order for public buildings to be more energy conservative. Since this time UAM has been trying to conserve energy in the buildings on campus. Eric Manos, Rick Deviney, Baylor Dixon, Justin Calhoun, Diana Hackney and Taylor Sherman are the group members that presented the material of energy efficiency at UAM.

   “An independent company came see how much the cost would be for UAM to be more energy conscience,” Sherman said.

   The school plans to be 20 percent more energy effective by 2014. The Energy Effective Conservation Block Grant gave UAM 6.2 million dollars to cover the costs in becoming green. Sherman said a survey, sent to staff and faculty, shows that they have a mindset of being “somewhat high” in energy efficiency.

   Hackney said some ways UAM is being energy conservative is by maximizing natural lighting and temperature control, putting computers in sleep and hibernation modes, stopping the use of non-essential items and for management personnel to make sure regulations are followed. Hackney said UAM is starting to implement these policies. The conservation will take more than just faculty and staff; students need to be involved also in this transition.

   “UAM spends 104,800 dollars a year on light fixtures alone,” Calhoun said.

   Calhoun said some of the buildings on campus have an occupancy sensor that will detect movement and will shut the lights off after a few minutes of no movement. A building on campus must score a 75 or higher on the Energy Star rating, which some of UAM still has to work towards.

   “Leaving lights on when no one is around is one of the main ways to waste energy,” Dixon said.

   Electronics, such as chargers, use electricity even after they are in off mode. Deviney said the simplest way to help UAM in going green is by turning things off.

   Manos said the long-term master plan for UAM would be to invest in the installation of solar panels. The campus spends around 1.6 million annually on utilities. With solar panels the school would cut those costs in half.

   Students can learn more about energy conservation by going to www.green.arkansas.gov.

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