Green Power

When it comes to responsible energy use, Quinnipiac shines.

The University continually strives to make improvements in its use of electricity, water, heating and cooling, and how it handles waste management.

"From single stream recycling, Earth Day events, the farmers market, energy and water reduction, and our water refilling stations reducing our plastic use, the Quinnipiac community gets very involved in our sustainability efforts," says Keith Woodward, associate vice president for facilities operation and administration.

One of the University's biggest initiatives has been investing in renewable, clean energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 39 percent of the total energy consumed in America is used to generate electricity. Most of the electricity used in the U.S. is generated from fossil fuels, including natural gas, coal and oil, resulting in the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

To power its three campuses responsibly, Quinnipiac has initiated several strategies, including generating its own power, buying green power, and encouraging the community to reduce its electricity use.

Quinnipiac's York Hill Campus is outfitted with 721 photovoltaic panels on its rooftops. In addition, the wind turbine garden generates 32,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year.

The electricity that the University purchases is generated by green power -- electricity generated by renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact biomass, and low-impact hydro resources. Quinnipiac participates in the EPA's voluntary Green Power Partnership program and is one of only 39 colleges and universities nationwide that purchases 100 percent renewable, clean energy.

Another part of the green energy equation is energy reduction. Facilities and the student group Students for Environmental Action (SEA) encourage students, faculty and staff to take action to reduce their energy use by turning off lights, using power saving settings on their computers, and giving students the opportunity to trade fluorescent bulbs for compact fluorescent models.

The SEA helps run the annual Residence Hall Energy Reduction Challenge, in which students living in residence halls compete against each other to reduce their collective energy use. During the first year of the competition, students saved 23,000 kilowatt hours - equivalent to powering 300 Connecticut homes for one week, said senior Johanna Berton, president of the group.

"SEA has made a significant difference in the Quinnipiac community," said Berton. "A lot of environmental issues come about due to a lack of education and therefore, it is our goal as an organization to educate students about environmental issues and how they can develop lifelong sustainable habits."

 

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