Turn it off, shut it down

The Arizona Western College district made great inroads into energy conservation this year.

Back in January AWC began the Turn It Off Campaign and in the past nine months has used a million fewer kilowatt-hours of energy than during the comparable period last year.

AWC Facilities Director Steve Eckert estimates that correlates to approximately $100,000 in savings. The expectations were to see a savings of 10 percent in energy costs, but AWC actually saw a savings of 11.5 percent.

The Turn It Off Campaign created energy awareness with posters, flyers, wall switch plates and a booth at the AWC Sustainability Fair in April. The campaign is ongoing, and continued savings are expected as faculty, staff and students increase their awareness and participation in energy conservation.

The idea is that all members of the campus community will be conscious of their ability to reduce energy usage. For instance, the AWC district has 4,000 computers. Turning off the power strip effectively reduces usage of energy as even having LED lights on uses energy. In addition, the last person to leave a room should turn off the light, and TVs and gaming system should be turned off when not in use.

In the interest of energy savings, the College is constantly evaluating items such as heating and cooling systems, types of light bulbs, insulation, motors and light systems. Tan upcoming project is the installation of stand-alone outdoors solar lights by the 3C building.

"Every little bit makes a difference," Eckert says. "The more money we save, the more money we'll have to spend on other things to improve the educational experience."

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