New lighting in residence halls saves energy, money

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

New improvements that have been taking place over the last three years in SDSU residence halls may have gone unnoticed by some students, but Enegy Conservation Engineer Chris Bauman said he thinks it’s something worth taking into consideration.

Beginning in the summer of 2000, 3,500 new light fixtures have been installed in Brown, Pierson, Hansen and Waneta Halls.

Bauman said the investment the university has made so far has paid off. The new fixtures save $25,000 annually, and that means the investment will be repaid in less than three years.

The project will continue for at least another year and a half, with Hansen Hall and Waneta Hall getting the upgrades this summer, and Young, Binnewies and Mathews hall recieving the new fixtures in the summer of 2005.

The upgrades include replacing old incandescent fixtures with energy-efficient fluorescent ones. The fluorescent lights produce more light, but use 80 percent less energy.

Bauman said it is important to recognize the need for energy conservation on campus because the Physical Plant only has a limited amount of energy to use.

“We are only given so much energy to use and it’s tight right now,” he said.

Just because new buildings are going up on campus does not mean SDSU engineers are given any more energy to work with either.

Bauman said there are other ways students can conserve energy in the dorms, or in their own apartments or homes. An estimated $10,000 could be saved annually if students living in the residence halls would turn off lights, stereos and televisions when they are not in use. Even though students are not getting electricity bills in the mail, individual efforts to reduce expenses can keep costs down for all students.

“I remember when I was a student here and the people across the hall [in the residence hall] left for the weekend and their stereo was on the whole time,” Bauman said.