Cal State Fullerton’s energy-efficiency group PowerSave Green Campus is currently working with organizations across campus to encourage energy conservation cut down energy usage. The organization is hoping to promote this through techniques that include replacing incandescent light bulbs throughout campus and monitoring the amount of energy used. The group is organized by the Alliance to Save Energy, a student-led internship program in place at 19 schools around the state that concentrates on sustainability awareness.
Jerome Terrell, 23, a master’s student in civil engineering and team leader of Cal State Fullerton’s Green Campus program, said that promoting energy conservation is currently the team’s biggest focus. “As long as we can change behavior, it will help out the university greatly,” Terrell said. ”It will help people in the long run because these will be the things they teach their kids, their friends, their parents and reduce their energy bill as well.”
Terrell said that on-campus housing is one of the most important places on campus to look at energy efficiency due to the fact that the university can easily track and manage the amount of energy used by students living on campus. “It’s really the easiest place where we can regulate it, other than the classrooms, which have to stay on for a certain amount of time … when in the dorms we can just tell people ‘Hey, turn off your lights when you’re not using them,’” Terrell said.
Terrell also said the group is working on retrofitting the older lights that are on campus. One goal is to replace all old T12 fixtures with T5 Retrofit Kits.
Doug Kind, manager of commissioning and engineering sustainability for the Physical Plant, said that PowerSave Green Campus has been working closely with both the Physical Plant and Housing and Residence Life to ensure the change of lighting goes through properly.
PowerSave Green Campus has also been doing energy calculations for the Physical Plant. “They’ve arranged that in conjunction with us, so the Physical Plant is going to do product selection and acquire the materials. Green Campus is working with housing to make sure that’s all going to be working properly,” Kind said.
Terrell mentioned that the Alliance to Save Energy has helped PowerSave Green Campus by giving the group goals and project criteria.
“This keeps us motivated to achieve those outreach and energy reduction goals and make a bigger difference in what is happening. They also supply us with nearly all the resources we need to do projects if the Physical Plant or the residence halls can’t help us with what we need,” he said.
He added that the Alliance to Save Energy gives the group an implementation budget, which are funds that are provided for PowerSave Green Campus each year to fund projects. Terrell said this helps the group find ways to promote energy conservation.
The group is also hoping to contribute to energy efficiency on campus is by replacing the light bulbs on the exit signs across campus with photoluminescent lights.
“Most of the time, (the lights) are on all day, all night, but if we’re able to replace them with photoluminescent cells, which is kind of like glow in the dark glass that builds up energy during the day and dissipates it at night, that’s no energy being used there,” Terrell said.
Terrell said that PowerSave Green Campus is also looking for new ways to conserve the amount of water used on campus, specifically at the dorms by having low-flow showerheads installed. “If we can reduce the amount of water coming out, that’s less water wasted. So even if you do take a longer shower … you’re not wasting as much water if the water was on full blast,” Terrell said.