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Posted 2.15.07

Despite Case's small geographic footprint -- only a third of a square mile -- the university's population, energy consumption, and amount of CO2 emitted are greater than that of most small towns in the Ohio. Research and technology needs are two areas where energy consumption and power density are expected to continue increasing. Despite the challenges of an expanding campus, energy efficiency and evidence of smart energy use is on the rise. Case’s facilities services and the Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) have partnered to implement a program of energy efficiency upgrades in building systems and an awareness raising campaign about the impact of daily energy choices.

These efforts have paid off at Weatherhead. Over the last year, the Peter B. Lewis Building (PBL) recognized an 11% reduction in electricity use, decreasing consumption by 176,000 KWH. Similarly, the George S. Dively Building (Dively) reduced its electric consumption by 106,000 KWH, representing a 24% reduction from last year. As important as these numbers are to Case's operations and bottom line, it' noteworthy that Weatherhead' smarter energy use translates into a 352 and 212 ton carbon offset for PBL and Dively respectively. Collectively, Weatherhead has avoided sending more than half a million pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

So what's worked at the Weatherhead School?
Changing light bulbs and behaviors.All the incandescent light bulbs from desk lamps throughout PBL were replaced with energy efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs. This was an easy and effective step that garnered a marked impact on Weatherhead's energy consumption. Additional lighting changes were made in Dively and both buildings' mechanical systems have been upgraded to adjust per building energy needs.

What makes the biggest difference are the building's inhabitants. Using day lighting or desk lamps rather than turning on additional overhead lighting in offices and hallways has a big cumulative impact, as does turning lights off in unoccupied meeting rooms. Combine these strategies with turning off computer monitors and peripheral electronics like computer speakers when not in use, and unplugging small personal devices, like battery chargers for cell phones, iPods, or PDAs also comprise smart energy use. For more ways to lighten Weatherhead's carbon footprint, ideas for smarter daily energy choices, or to adopt either PBL or Dively.

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