Campus Energy Conservation is Job #1
By Walter Simpson, Retired UB Energy Officer
Hello Campus Climateers!
I am just back from presenting at a series of campus energy conservation training conferences involving 35 colleges in southern states, the majority of which are ACUPCC signatories. While I welcomed the climate commitment of the ACUPCC signatories in this group, I was surprised to see that some were just beginning their campus energy conservation programs. From this starting point, much effort will be needed to significantly reduce carbon footprints and make meaningful progress toward climate neutrality.
For schools that have made the ACUPCC commitment but are struggling to implement carbon reduction strategies and develop an action plan, it is important to approach the ACUPCC in a one-step-at-a-time fashion in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. As my training partner -- Bob Kennedy of EYP – and I repeatedly said during these workshops, “Campus energy conservation is Job #1.”
Energy conservation is the place to start and to focus. Nothing is cleaner and cheaper than energy conservation. There is no more effective way to reduce one’s carbon footprint. While it is possible to spend a lot of time analyzing and massaging your greenhouse gas inventory numbers, it is much more important to get your campus energy conservation program going and growing.
Hopefully the campus Climate Action Planning Guide now posted as a wiki is proving helpful to your campus energy conservation efforts. Once you delve into it, you will see that it addresses campus energy conservation in great detail.
For additional energy conservation resources, please see below a listing of the AASHE climate blogs I have done over the last four months. Also see“Organizing an Effective Campus Energy Program: Lessons from the University at Buffalo”. It’s fromThe Green Campus: Meeting the Challenge of Environmental Sustainability, 2008, available from APPA.
The spring 2009 semester is rapidly coming to a close and students and faculty are doing a full court press to finish up course work. Over the past few weeks it’s probably been hard to get anyone’s attention about really important matters like . . .climate change!Nonetheless, I am certain progress continues to be made on campus climate action plans across the country. By September 15, nearly 400 ACUPCC Charter Signatory colleges and universities are expected to have their initial campus climate action plans complete and submitted. That will make for a busy summer!
Here are some of the blogs I expect to undertake in the coming weeks as I wrap up my six-month stint as a consultant to AASHE and the ACUPCC:
- Greening Your Campus Power Plant
- Installing Renewable Energy Technologies on Campus
- New Construction and Green Building Design
- Commuting Conundrum
Earlier already-posted blogs include (most recent first):
- Buying Green Power – An Important Step Toward Climate Neutrality
- Getting the Most Out of an Energy Performance Contract – Part 2
- Getting the Most Out of an Energy Performance Contract – Part 1
- Energy Pigs – What Are They? What to Do about Them?
- Implementing Low Cost or No Cost Operational Energy Savings
- Want to Reduce Your Campus’ Carbon Footprint? Then Develop a Comprehensive Campus Energy Conservation Program
- What to Expect from Your GHG Inventory & How to Maximize Its Benefit
- Calculating Your Campus Carbon Footprint: It’s Not as Hard as You Think
- Energizing Your CAP Team + Tips on Hiring a Consultant
- Creating an Institutional Structure for Your Climate Action Plan
- Excellent Climate Action Planning Resources Abound
Please feel free to share any of the above with your campus climate action team.
‘til next month,
Walter Simpson, CEM, LEED AP, retired 26 year University at Buffalo Energy Officer and director of UB Green, is working with AASHE and the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment to develop climate action planning resources.
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