This archived article was written by: Shadayah Jones
When the winter months come and bring the bitter air and freezing temperatures, electric and gas bill prices increase throughout the country. When looking at the gas and electric bill for USU Eastern resident halls for January and February 2012, the bill was $55,724 to power Aaron Jones, Tucker, and Sessions.
The National Energy Foundation sent two representatives to educate the residents living in the hall on campus to be for energy efficient. Ian Wright and Elissa Richards, representatives from NEF, came to USU Eastern for two purposes: to educate the residents on becoming more energy efficient and sustain an energy-efficient program at USU Eastern.
During their presentation, Wright and Richards gave some ways on how to be more energy efficient to help reduce the amount of energy used on campus in the resident halls. Some included turning off lights when they are not being used and reducing the amount of “phantom loads”. A phantom load is when something is plugged into an outlet and using energy, but not doing anything. One of Wright’s examples was having a cell phone in your pocket with the charger still plugged in at home. That charger is using energy, but not charging your phone.
Another way to reduce energy use is to turn off all appliances that are not being used like a microwave or a computer. According to the NEF it costs a computer owner $35 a year to power their computer for four hours a day. By only having your computer on when you are using it, you are saving money and energy.
Switching your thermostat, depending on the season, can also help reduce energy. In the winter months, thermostats should be set to 68 degrees and in the summer months to 76 degrees. Also keeping all doors and windows closed in the halls help.
By using LED and CFL light bulbs will help to save energy. A LED or a light-emitting diode can run for 25,000 hours and a CFL or a compact fluorescent light can run for 10,000 hours. The incandescent light bulbs, which are the standard light bulb, can only run for about 1,200 hours.
The last way Wright and Richard suggested to save energy is to take shorter showers. In order for a shower to be energy efficient, it must not be longer than five minutes. By cutting down on the time of your shower, residents will help save energy. Also by not letting water run when it is not needed is another effective way. Also wash your clothes in cold water instead of warm will help save energy.
The residential life staff would like to try and make the halls at USU-Eastern more energy efficient, but in order to do this they must have everyone’s cooperation. Wright and Richards are making it a competition among the halls. For two months they are going to be tracking the amount of energy each hall uses and at the end of those two months, the winning hall will get a nacho party and one resident will have the chance to win an i pad Mini. To help your hall win, remember the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.