Many Penn Staters are guilty of wasting energy by innocently leaving their rooms, classrooms, and more and not remembering to conserve by turning it all off. Not to mention the commons areas and miscellaneous buildings are lit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Penn State tries it’s hardest with it’s very own customized light stickers which are on all switches placed in each vicinity, indicating that the everyone should try to save energy by turning off the lights (which should give them the indication to turn everything else off) before they leave the premises.
But those stickers do not happen to be quite effective. One too many times, people leave their rooms, classrooms, labs, etc. with things plugged in, running and lit. There aren’t just ceiling lights in the dormitory rooms. Each and every room on Penn State’s campus is guaranteed a microwave and a refrigerator and desks which have lights and outlets on the top. Students tend to own more personal electronics in reference to desk lamps, strobe lights and the number of any other possible energy consuming objects which could lead into a continuous list.
Penn State’s Sustainability Team should consider doing something about conserving energy, campus wide. Aside from the excess electronics students might have, illumination is the easiest to begin with. Americans are the worst when it comes to conserving energy and no, that is not an opinion, it is a proven fact. In 2012 alone, all of the energy America wasted could have kept the United Kingdom running for 7 years (Clean Technica), which is a scary statistic within itself.
America uses billions of dollars on energy consumption and could be using some of that money for more mportant things. From a source, America as of 2011 has spent 400 Billion dollars on electricity (The Community, Answers. Com) Between 2020 and 2040 the increase in the use of electricity in America will result in a loss of 2. 8 trillion dollars (NRECA). To prevent this increase and major loss of money, we can start small on this campus, by conserving with all motion sensor lights in dormitory rooms, hallways, and all other buildings that contain rooms with no necessary need to be lit.
One major benefit of having LED Motion Sensor Lights is definitely that it uses body heat and wave lengths to determine motion (Do It Yourself). If motion is determined, the lights come on. The sensitivity is also able to be switched up, and the lights can come on with a simple snap of the fingers, just because the sensitivity can be set high enough to detect motion almost immediately. At least students won’t have to ignore the fact that the lights need to be turned off when they leave, the sensor will automatically know when there is no one inside of the room.
These motions have electrical efficiency (Do It Yourself). The worries of leaving without keeping conservation in mind is automatically eradicated, and suddenly there is no need to second guess if you turned the light off before you left your room or not. In East Halls, the lights are rarely ever turned off. Most Recently, in regards to conserving energy, Penn State’s Sustainability Team joined a competition which was based around reducing electricity in East Halls, against each other.
Looking into it, East Halls uses 117,000kh of electricity which is so powerful that it can power 10 homes for a year (Sustainability, PSU). So imagine what all of Penn State’s other Dormitory residences generate combined. In order to get this problem somewhat grounded, the motion sensor lights make the most sense. It might be kind of time consuming to engage in solar energy. Trying to conserve the extreme green way would definitely save a load of money, but take a toll on any kind of night activities where lights would be preferred.
So motion sensor lights would be most effective. An average LED Motion Sensor light costs around 30 dollars (The Simple Dollar). On Penn State’s campus a curveball estimate for how many rooms there are would be about 20,000-30,000 rooms. Spending a round-a-bout amount of 600,000 dollars to 900,000 dollars is nearly half of what they spend each year. For this one-time installment, it will cost almost an extra million but the yearly cost to keep electricity grounded on this campus will radically go down, and money will most definitely be saved.
Now although Penn State is a small percentage of that 400 Billion dollars America approximately spends each year for electricity, Penn State’s electricity bill is 2 million dollars flat (Voices on PSU Sustainability), and that is just simply too much money between dormitory halls, miscellaneous buildings such as the HUB and lastly, the buildings that hold labs and classes inside, in only one single month. Penn State’s collective energy bill which includes electricity is 49 million dollars. Pushing 50 million, that monthly bill is completely absurd.
Electricity around here is a waste of money and only adds to the drastic statistic of America’s energy use. One million dollars alone could go to helping students with financial aid, or healthier food options instead of spending it on something we can surely change. Motion sensor lights are rare on this campus. I’ve seen a few myself but they aren’t being put to use everywhere, as they should be. Motion sensor lights are efficient, safe, and easily accessible and will save this school a lot of income, to put towards other important aspects.