In the spring 2007, Ouachita formed a committee consisting of administrators, faculty, residence hall directors and students to study alternatives that will make a difference in our energy usage. The goal of this committee was to develop two plans related to Energy Efficiency and Conservation. A short-term plan was implemented at that time to encourage students, faculty and staff to make simple, easy to adopt changes in their habits that will reduce our energy consumption.
Since, we have contracted with Energy Education, Inc. to further develop our energy conservation plan. EEI has developed a savings plan that should result in some exciting changes to our campus. That plan will be implemented and managed by our Energy Manager, David Owens. The Energy Conservation Guidelines are designed to be common-sense choices that allow us to comfortably enjoy the facilities on campus without being wasteful with the utilities required to operate them.
Since beginning the conservation program in December, Ouachita’s energy consumption has been reduced by 13.5%. This is the carbon equivalent of removing 117 vehicles from the road or planting 16,689 trees!
The second, longer-term plan involves making changes to campus buildings and systems for more efficiency. Possible changes include constructing any new buildings with energy efficiency as a goal, retrofitting older buildings with more efficient light fixtures, adding motion sensors to turn off lights in empty rooms, and others. Changes of this nature will require some initial investment but will result in long-term efficiency and savings and will be considered on a long-term basis.
A number of resources are available for energy education/conservation.