Why Energy Savings and Sustainability?
As the world-wide demand for energy rises, energy-producing fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are being depleted, and the social, environmental and economic costs associated with energy consumption are escalating. Climate change is caused by carbon dioxide pollution from using fossil fuels.
The university is taking action to reduce energy and water consumption. Brandeis has signed the President's Climate Commitment, an agreement to become carbon dioxide neutral. As part of the commitment we wrote the Brandeis Climate Action Plan which sets goals for changing energy use. Like the trio in the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" slogan, "Conservation, Efficiency, and Renewables" are the trio of practices to mitigate energy impact.
Energy conservation is the practice of cutting back on wasteful energy consumption and can be as simple as turning out unnecessary lights. Brandeis has implemented a number of energy conservation programs and policies.
- Comfort Cooling and Heating Policy (PDF)
- No Idling Policy (PDF)
- Related: Green Cleaning Purchases (PDF)
Energy efficiency consists of technological solutions such as updated appliances and motion sensors. Efficiency won’t be effective if building occupants don’t conserve as well.
In 2004, the university began investing in a comprehensive Energy Savings Program, resulting in millions of dollars of savings. Energy efficient lighting has been placed in many buildings, upgrades have been made to the steam system, and improved heating and cooling machinery has been installed.
In 2012 the Brandeis Sustainable Energy Program, a new $5 million dollar investment in efficiency was Annouced.Renewable Clean Energy
A growing alternative to fossil fuel produced energy is clean and renewable energy such as solar, geothermal and wind power. Clean energy refers to sources that don't pollute in their extraction and use. Renewable energy refers to sources that will not run out. It is becoming increasingly available, but still represents a small percentage of our total energy use. Currently more costly than fossil fuels, but the prospect of stable prices is making clean energy projects more viable. In 2009 Brandeis installed a 271 kilowatt Solar Array and in 2011 as part of the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, solar lighting was installed on the entrance of the campus.