Going Green in Columbia
Paul Coleman manages MU's Campus Facilities Energy Management Department. He controls all the heating, cooling and lighting on campus. This means he controls the temperature range of every room on campus too.
"A lot of the electronic thermostats are adjustable, but they have limits on them," says Coleman. "So we won't allow someone to go down to 68 degrees in the summer time and we won't allow them to go up to 78 degrees in the winter."
The Energy Management Department started in 1990 by simply changes lightbulbs.Now, the department is making changes to air conditoiners, light switches and even the powerplant itself.
"Most power plants will throw away the heat energy or the thermal energy from the steam," says MU Power Plant Superintendant Gregg Coffin. "Here at MU we use it to heat and cool our campus buildings. We also use it for sterelization of instruments at our hospitals and for dishwashing and food preparation."
Now, MU is saving energy by using sensoring equipment on their lighting. So when no one is in the room, its dark, but as soon as someones walks in, the lights come on. All the high tech machines make saving energy easier for Mizzou, but Coleman says the average energy consumer can save a lot of money without a lot of hassle.
"What I like to do in my house is if an incandescent light burns out, I'll replace it with a compact florescent," he says. "Another thing you can do is what we call the one light per person rule. If you're in a room by yourself just turn on one light. Turn your thrermostat up on your air conditioning system. Up in the summer and down in the winter to whatever you can stand."
More Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home
-Unplug small appliances when not in use and save 5 percent of your annual energy bill.
-When you purchase new appliances, make sure it has an "Energy Star" label.
-Turn your computer monitor or other non-essential pieces of equipment off at night.
-Close windows at night during the winter.