Sustainability effort now targets dorm power usage

Students in Castleton Hall: turn off your lights, unplug electronics that aren’t in use, switch your light bulbs – you’re being monitored.A monitor was installed in Castleton Hall last March so the sustainability workforce could measure the use of electricity, water, and total energy with the hope that knowing where the energy is being used will allow residents to help reduce consumption.

“It gives us a sense how much electricity everyone is using,” Dean of Administration Bill Allen said. “Right now we don’t really know.”

The electricity bill for all campus buildings is currently lumped into one which prompted Allen to push for a monitor to be installed. Seeing where the energy is being used will help the sustainability work force see where energy wise improvements need to be made.

Dean of residence life Dennis Proulx noted that making a sustainable dorm partly stemmed from the group housing proposal last semester. Since it was the only idea accepted, residence life picked Castleton Hall because it already had some sustainable features such as sensory lights in the bathroom.

Chris Lee, the area coordinator for Castleton Hall, is hoping to work with Residential Life staff to focus floor programs on sustainability and recycling.

“It’s a great space to target and start talking about sustainability practices,” he said of Castleton Hall.

While Residence Life is working on starting to instill sustainable practices in residents, Allen will use this year as a baseline before targeting specific places for more efficient use of energy.

Eventually Allen would like monitors to be installed in the other residential halls as well, even going as far as entertaining the possibility of a competition among halls to use the least amount of energy or lower their use the most.

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