Electricity Usage down 19 percent at AUNE
Since setting its 2020 carbon neutrality target in 2007, Antioch New England has reduced campus electricity use by 19 percent. How did AUNE do this – by applying simple conservation measures and efficiency improvements. Abigail Abrash Walton, AUNE’s assistant to the president for sustainability and social justice, said, “I am thrilled that we have achieved a 19 percent reduction in electricity use on campus using only low cost and low tech measures. The pay-off for such measures is great.”
The cumulative three-year savings (from 2007 to 2009) was 152,400 kilowatt hours and 188.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2 emissions).
Some of the low-cost, low-tech measures include the Please Flip Me Off sign campaign, which urges AUNE building users to turn off the lights when leaving a room; energy-saving e-alerts to all campus community members; and the Carbon Counts: You Can Too lunch-time speaker series. The speaker series features faculty, staff, student, and alumni expertise and provides both tips and encouragement for those interested in working towards carbon neutrality.
Other energy-efficiency measures implemented in the past two years include installing restroom light occupancy sensors and removing unnecessary, high-energy consumption machinery from the campus. In addition, AUNE purchased energy-efficient computers and established the Green Guru Office Energy-Efficiency Audit program.
AUNE’s latest Green Guru, Rachel Thompson, is a work-study student home-based with AUNE’s Sustainability and Social Justice Committee. Rachel helps ANE employees reduce emissions through computer-setting adjustments, installation and use of power strips, and other low-tech solutions. To date, 60 percent of AUNE employees have participated in the energy-use audit. The committee expects 100 percent participation by May 2010.