Kill-A-Watt: A Campaign to Increase Energy Efficiency on the Columbia University Campus

Friday, May 05, 2006

Suggestions for Administration- Lighting and Electricity

- Lighting accounts for 5-10 percent in average American home. It costs $50-$150 per year per dorm room. Appliances and portable tools draw energy even when they are not "on". Although it might seem like they do not require much energy (how much could an electric toothbrush, a laptop and a lamp consume?). However, together they might use more power than a refrigerator. If the equipment is connected to a remote control, it is drawing power 24/7. If the students were encouraged to unplug them, or if all of the appliances could be connected to a power strip that would be turned off when not in use, it could save about $100 per dorm room per year, saving Barnard College at least $25,000 every year
- Use of day-light should be made. More classes should be scheduled at times when daylight is still available. If the space permits, classes should not be scheduled for the evening. For students, the desks should be positioned by the window in order to make use of the natural light.
- Rooms should be regularly re-painted- lighter wall color will help the light to get deeper into the room.
- Venetian blinds should be installed in all buildings on campus. Venetian blinds are modifications of shades, they are just as easy to maintain as the pull-down shades that Barnard is currently providing, and, if maintained properly, could reduce allergies of the residents of the room/suite.
- The background light level should be reduced and reliance shifted to task lighting. A lot of energy could be saved by concentrating light just where it's needed and reducing background or ambient light levels. For example, if a student is reading a textbook, only the desk light should be on. The overhead light should not be used. Not will it only concentrate the light in a certain area and improve the quality of lighting, the studies show, it would be beneficial for student’s eyesight,
- Energy efficient lighting equipment should be installed
- Incandescent lights should be used wisely. Higher-wattage bulbs are more efficient than lower-wattage bulbs. In order to provide the same amount of light provided by a single 100-watt bulb, two 60-watt bulbs and four 40-watt bulbs are needed.

The information and financial breakdown was based on the information provided

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