Thanks to Constellation Energy, students, faculty and staff at Frostburg State University will be able to move forward with a campuswide energy audit this fall, as part of FSU’s ongoing efforts to become a more sustainable campus. The University applied for and was awarded a Constellation Energy EcoStar grant through the FSU Foundation, Inc., to support the project.
“The energy audits will determine individual and collective energy usage on campus, aid in the effective implementation of energy saving devices and provide recommendations for individuals to use to change energy use habits that will lead to a greater reduction of the FSU carbon footprint and a more sustainable future,” said Lawrence Gingerich, FSU’s safety and sustainability coordinator.
Gingerich, in partnership with FSU’s Learning Green, Living Green committee, its faculty-led Sustainability Studies Committee and the University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will oversee the launch of a student-led initiative to complete campuswide energy audits of the University’s academic and residence hall buildings. The project is scheduled to begin this summer and continue through May 2012. A team of students will be selected through FSU’s sustainability studies minor and trained to conduct energy audits. The audits will begin with two campus buildings – one academic building and one residence hall. Once the audit is complete, the students will provide follow-up recommendations to Dave Rose, FSU’s vice president for Administration and Finance, the President’s Executive Cabinet and facilities management. After preselected buildings have been audited and reports are issued, the buildings may be fitted with equipment such as lighting motion sensor switches, equipment motion sensors and vending machine misers. The buildings’ electrical energy and natural gas consumption will be monitored to determine the effectiveness of the audit recommendations. Once the audit of the piloted buildings is finished, the audit will then continue with other buildings across campus.
Funding from the Constellation Energy EcoStar grant ensures the energy audit includes a student stipend and the purchase of equipment necessary to complete the project, including a Reed LM-8000 Pocket 4-in-1 multi-function meter, a Reed ST-128M Non-Destructive Moisture Meter, a thermal imaging camera and a Power Cost Monitor.
Receiving the Constellation Energy EcoStar grant and securing the funding to move forward with a campuswide energy audit are the latest developments in FSU’s progress to become a more sustainable campus dedicated to educating students about environmental issues. This fall, FSU joined the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) as an institutional member of its Higher Education Committee. ACORE is an organization of over 600 member companies and institutions that are dedicated to moving renewable energy into the mainstream of the U.S. economy. The University also established a sustainability studies minor in fall 2010 and was listed in Princeton Review’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” a publication designed to “recognize the impressive environmental and sustainability programs at universities and colleges across the country.” FSU’s efforts to promote sustainability include developing a variety of activities and programs to help the campus learn about sustainability, including an annual Earth Week celebration; participation in the national RecycleMania competition; and “E=(LG)2,” a student-written, student-edited publication on sustainability, the only one of its kind.
With the leadership of Learning Green, Living Green and the enthusiasm and advocacy of its faculty, staff and students, FSU successfully submitted a Climate Action Plan in September 2009, as part of the pledge it made to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The Climate Action Plan will guide FSU to climate neutrality by 2030. As part of its goal of becoming climate neutral, FSU has an Energy Star purchasing policy and has been working on installing high-efficiency lighting and low-flow showerheads, which has saved FSU electricity and water, as well as close to $40,000 in utility costs.
To learn more about FSU’s focus on sustainability, visit www.frostburg.edu/lglg or e-mail email@example.com. If you are on Facebook, you can also become a fan of the “Learning Green, Living Green at FSU (LGLG)” Facebook page at facebook.com/frostburglglg. To learn more about Constellation Energy, visit www.constellation.com.
The FSU Foundation is nearing the end of a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting these scholarships, visit foundation.frostburg.edu or call 301-687-4161.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.