Energy campaign aims to cut costs

Tadd Kruse, an assistant dean at the American University of Kuwait, speaks at a Student Assembly meeting.

The College is in the process of developing a new campaign to lower energy consumption and related costs, Kathy Lambert, the College’s sustainability coordinator, announced at Tuesday’s Student Assembly meeting. Plans for the campaign, which will be launched during Spring term, should be finalized this winter.

The campaign’s purpose is both environmental and financial, according to Lambert. Reducing Dartmouth’s greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 will generate an estimated savings of $500,000 per year, she said.

“The budget crisis made it clear that an important focus for the College is something that both saves money, and helps the planet,” she said.

As part of the campaign, the College will ask students, faculty and staff to sign an “energy pledge,” Lambert said. The pledge will list ways to reduce individual consumption of heat, water and electricity, according to a description of the campaign provided to The Dartmouth.

Students can decrease their energy use by lowering thermostats in their rooms, washing clothes in cold water, replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs and using power-saving settings on computers, the description said.

The pledge also serves to educate members of the Dartmouth community about the impact of individual decisions, according to the description.

Campaign organizers hope to collect at least 2,000 signed pledges during the campaign’s two-week launch in mid-April, Lambert said.

The campaign also seeks to change College operating procedures by advocating energy-saving policies in academic and administrative facilities, according to Lambert. Proposed measures include enforcing thermostat set points, eliminating office water coolers and setting public computer terminals to energy-saving modes.

The campaign’s organizers will collaborate with Facilities, Operations and Management personnel to implement energy-saving building projects, including improved heating and cooling systems, and timed lighting controls, according to the campaign statement.

Lambert asked Assembly members to help organize a pledge drive and to assist with communications and events during the launch period.

Possible activities for the campaign’s kick-off include a lights-out night and energy conservation-themed parties, according to the description.

The campaign has raised $24,200 from FO&M, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Residential Life, according to student sustainability intern Marissa Knodel ’09.

The College will contribute an additional $5 to the campaign for every sustainability pledge up to a total contribution of $10,000, Lambert said.

On Tuesday, the Assembly also described an internship opportunity for Dartmouth students co-sponsored by the College and the American University of Kuwait, which began in 2005.

Assembly members also discussed upcoming projects, including the second annual Mr. and Mrs. Big Green competition, scheduled for Feb. 12, and events to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17.

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