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Campus Sustainability Efforts Reduce Energy Costs by $319,000

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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energy efficiency

The Intersession and Fall Energy Savings campaigns, which saved $319,000, are part of UAlbany's overall, continuing commitment to environmental sustainability efforts.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 5, 2010) -- The University at Albany announced today that it reduced energy costs by a total of $319,000 through energy-saving steps during the fall semester and winter intersession. The biggest savings, $241,000, came through the Intersession Energy Savings campaign with the remainder through the University’s Fall Energy Campaign. Both initiatives are part of UAlbany’s overall, continuing commitment to environmental sustainability efforts.

“With faculty and staff serving as positive role models, and strong student leadership, our entire campus community is learning how to become lifelong environmental stewards,” said President George M. Philip. “These initiatives help keep sustainability a priority on this campus and advance the broader SUNY-wide efforts on energy conservation.”

UAlbany's Intersession Energy Savings initiative, which ran from Dec. 18, 2009 through Jan. 14, 2010, led to a 30 percent decrease in electricity use; 11 percent decrease in fuel use; and 10 percent decrease in water consumption over the same period, prior to initiating these energy initiatives in 2008. The initiative produced a reduction of roughly 1.4 million gallons of water; 1.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity; and 6.6 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heating fuel. There was also a three million pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking about 260 cars off the road for a year. To implement the initiative, the University reduced temperatures, lighting and building systems throughout its facilities.

The University's fourth annual Fall Energy Campaign, which promotes conservation of electricity consumption through the campus residence halls and apartments, was expanded to include 15 buildings on the Academic Podium, as well as the administrative building, University Hall. The effort, which ran from Sept. 9 through Nov. 15, 2009, led to a cost savings of $78,000. During the campaign, roughly 895,000 kilowatt hours were saved, resulting in a carbon dioxide emission reduction of 1.5 million tons. The buildings on the Podium saved $52,000 and 520,000 kilowatt hours, representing an eight percent reduction in electricity use over last year. Campus residence halls and apartments – all of which reduced their individual electricity use -- saved 374,000 kilowatt hours, up from 125,000 kilowatt hours last year. Student housing saved $26,000 – twice as much as last year’s effort – and used five percent less electricity.

“It’s clear that sustainability awareness and practices are becoming part of the culture on UAlbany’s campus,” said Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Environmental Sustainability. “We are proud of the success of these initiatives, which hinge on the contributions and commitment of our facilities staff and the entire University community.”

Prior to the campaign, UAlbany’s Office for Environmental Sustainability discussed conservation measures with resident assistants, who held programs for students with emphasis on sustainability. The Office also handed out compact fluorescent light bulbs and flyers with sustainability tips and guidelines. Additionally, faculty, staff and student volunteers – called sustainability coordinators and counselors – were established to help implement sustainable practices throughout the campus community.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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