The Robert H Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, is going green! This semester, Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam has agreed to participate in the new Energywi$e UM program at the University of Maryland, College Park, in an effort to promote energy conservation. Van Munching Hall, the location of the Smith School, is one of only three academic buildings (Glenn Martin Hall and the Chesapeake Building) on the campus to participate in this program.
Energywi$e UM aims to allow faculty, staff and students to be more aware of their energy use in the buildings they sit in each day. The program, which is a result of a team effort between Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability, is also taking place in 15 fraternity and sorority houses on the campus.
Throughout the semester the Office of Sustainability will alert the occupants of Van Munching Hall about their energy use. They will also pose conservation challenges to help faculty and staff members integrate energy conservation into their daily routines. The pilot program lasts for six weeks, and aims to cut down the 400,000 kWh – enough to power 365 homes – that Van Munching Hall uses each month. This will help save energy and money.
Each week, faculty and staff receive an e-mail with an energy conservation topic they are asked to incorporate into their day-to-day lives. Week one focused on simple oversights, including turning off lights when they aren’t in use, turning of projectors and printers, using natural daylight when possible, and closing windows. Faculty members were encouraged to share these tips with their students, too.
After the first week, Van Munching Hall used 540 kWh less than the historic September-October baseline, saving $64 and about 860 lbs of CO2. This information was sent with the next week’s challenge: Harness your human energy – meaning opening doors instead of hitting the automatic buttons and taking the stairs instead of elevators.
On top of the tips to conserve energy in Van Munching Hall, Energywi$e UM also provides weekly tips for reducing energy at home. These tips include switching to LED holiday lights, replacing old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and caulking any gaps in windows.
In mid-December, when Energywi$e UM ends, participants will be notified of the total energy saved in Van Munching Hall. By combining consumption data with efficiency strategies, the faculty and staff will help stimulate VMH’s potential for leadership in taking the University of Maryland one step closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Jessica Bauer, Intern, Office of Marketing Communications