Saving energy

Lynchburg College saved nearly $225,000 in energy costs during the 2010-11 academic year compared to the previous year, thanks in large part to campus-wide retrofits completed as part of LC’s commitment to reducing energy use.

The campus saved 7.1 million gallons of water or the equivalent of more than 20,000 flushes per day and 5.5 million flushes during the nine-month period. Not all the savings come from toilets, however. Low-flow showerheads and faucets, as well as “smart” irrigation systems also decreased water usage.

The College also saved 1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWH) of electricity. That is the equivalent of turning off nearly 18,000 40-watt light bulbs for eight hours a day.

Because of fluctuations in weather and electric rates, not all the savings can be attributed to conservation efforts, but the vast majority comes from the installation of more efficient electrical systems and lighting.

Over the summer, the College continued its energy improvements with the installation of solar tubes on the roof of Montgomery Hall to heat water throughout the freshman residence hall. The project should save $10,000 annually in water heating costs.

The $4.65 million energy improvement program should eventually result in a reduction of $583,000 in annual energy costs -about a third of the College’s utility bills. The project was developed after President Kenneth Garren signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which aims to eliminate global warming emissions.

Students, faculty, and staff also boarded Greater Lynchburg Transit Co. buses nearly 10,000 times during the 2010-11 academic year. The College plans to offer free bus passes to the campus community again this fall.

LC will continue its Year of Sustainability theme in 2011-12. Check out our other Green Initiatives.