Appalachian leads unc system in energy reduction news wataugademocrat.com electricity sound effect mp3 free download

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What can such energy reductions accomplish? Richardson said in 2016-17 alone, Appalachian avoided using over 95 million British thermal units — enough energy to power 2,160 average North Carolina houses for the year or heat over 10,000 Olympic-size swimming pools to boiling. Appalachian also avoided using over 37 million gallons of water, which would fill 566 Olympic-size swimming pools or more than 8 million standard-size bathtubs. Achieving goals through teamwork, leadership

Richardson and Dees attribute these energy achievements to both leadership and teamwork, citing several initiatives that are in place at Appalachian to meet energy sustainability goals: the Renewable Energy Initiative; the Sustainability Council; the Office of Sustainability; Appalachian’s Campus Master Plan 20/20; Appalachian’s 2017 Strategic Energy and Water Management Plan; the board of trustees’ commitment to LEED building standards; and the Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics, among others.

“Thanks to the ASUREI, we have one of the most diverse energy usage portfolios in the state,” Richardson said. ASUREI, a student-led, student-funded organization at Appalachian, installs renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on campus.

Additionally, many different strategies were used to achieve the 45 percent EUI reduction, they said, including infrastructure efforts made by Appalachian’s Physical Plant — optimizing HVAC systems, installing occupancy controls, implementing LED lighting, tracking energy performance and setting goals, and utilizing performance contracting.

Performance contracting, according to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, “is a method of financing, designing and building major projects that have a return on investment in avoided utility costs. It provides a way to replace obsolete and inefficient equipment using guaranteed utility savings to pay for the project.” Last year, the university received a $448,000 return from its performance contract through North Carolina DEQ’s Utility Savings Initiative program to invest in other energy-saving initiatives.

Dees said a “culture change” also took place at the state level through enacted legislative changes — such as State of North Carolina executive order No. 1 in 1999 and the North Carolina Senate Bill 668 in 2007 — which were then incorporated into practices across the UNC System.

In 2009, the UNC System created its Sustainability Policy, which details the systemic integration of sustainability principles and sets a 2050 goal of carbon neutrality — with the ultimate goal of becoming climate neutral — for all schools in the system. Carbon neutrality — current status

According to Appalachian’s Strategic Energy and Water Management Policy, the university is on track to meet the 2050 carbon neutrality target. Appalachian uses metric tons of equivalent carbon dioxide (MTeCO2) as the units of measurement with which to gauge its level of progress toward climate neutrality, or having a net-zero carbon footprint.

However, Dees said 40 percent of the university’s carbon emissions come from transportation and this “transportation footprint” has been difficult to reduce. The footprint includes diesel fuel used by AppalCART; overseas travel of students and faculty through study abroad programs; travel to and from games for Appalachian athletic teams; travel to and from conferences attended by Appalachian faculty and staff; and the daily commute of students, faculty and staff to and from Appalachian.

Richardson and Dees said a transportation survey will be offered to faculty, staff and students later this semester to help the university set future goals for decreasing transportation emissions. The survey will collect data from the Appalachian Community regarding how many miles an individual lives from campus; the type of vehicle one drives; the method one chooses for commuting (driving, bicycling, walking, etc.); and how often one commutes to and from the university.

Recommended short-term strategies for reducing transportation emissions, according to the Strategic Energy and Water Management Policy, include continued purchasing of long-distance fleet vehicles that are flex fuel capable, as well as purchasing electric vehicles for local use. Possible long-term strategies include providing charging stations on campus for university vehicles as well as E85 and biodiesel at campus refueling stations, and shifting toward purchasing vehicles that use electric, biodiesel and E85 fuels.

The fourth goal — 0.5 percent of Appalachian’s total consumed energy generated from university-owned renewable energy systems by 2018-19 — has yet to be achieved, said Richardson and Dees. In 2016-17, Appalachian achieved 0.15 percent of its total consumed energy from such systems. Short- and long-term renewable energy projects

All current, short-term projects for reaching the renewable energy utilization goal, which are detailed in the Strategic Energy and Water Management Policy, involve updating existing or installing new photovoltaic (PV) systems on Appalachian buildings.

“In cooperation between Appalachian’s REI, the Sustainability Office, the Physical Plant and University Housing, we have repaired three broken solar thermal systems over the past year in Mountaineer (Hall), Summit (Hall) and the (Reich) College of Education,” Richardson said. “These repairs and additions will now make 0.27 percent of Appalachian’s energy sourced by on-campus renewable sources.”

Appalachian’s REI has funded a 57-kW PV system for the new Beaver College of Health Sciences facility that is scheduled to be complete for the 2018-19 academic year. Other projects under consideration include the replacement of Frank Hall’s current solar thermal system with a 37-kW PV system through Appalachian’s REI.

“Another big development,” Richardson said, “is the implementation of energy system monitoring by the Data Management Committee of Appalachian’s REI, allowing us to identify problems quickly. Interested parties can see what our systems are producing in the ASUREI Kiosk in Plemmons Student Union or on the ASUREI energy dashboard.”

Long-term strategies to help achieve Appalachian’s energy utilization goal include transitioning to the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy sources that do not use fossil or nuclear fuels. This development is under review by Appalachian’s New River Light and Power Co. and could reduce the university’s carbon footprint by 33 percent, Dees said.