Friday, October 9, 2009

War College and URI collaborate on saving energy

Posted Oct 9, 2009
URI students find energy savings at Navy base
By Chris Barrett
Providence Business News (PBN) Staff Writer

University of Rhode Island students recently pitched a plan to the Naval War College in Newport that could help reduce the military’s utility bills.

During the summer a team of students from the university’s Energy Center Fellows Program visited the college’s facilities and found a wide variety of inefficiencies in energy use, including areas that had more lighting than necessary, outdoor lights that were on during daylight hours, occupancy sensors that were not working properly, and computers that were never turned off.

“We found a lot of little things that can have a big impact on their energy bill,” said Kevin Silveira, 21, a URI senior studying mechanical engineering. “Changing behaviors may be the hardest thing to do because they’ve been doing things the same way for years and years, but we hope to get the faculty, staff and students to switch their mindset to be more energy conscious and more waste conscious.”

The students said implementing their recommendations and installing renewable energy sources could reduce the college’s energy consumption by 30 percent below 2003 levels by 2015.

Rear Admiral Phil Wisecup, president of the War College, has endorsed the plan and asked for students to return and oversee the implementation of the project.

“It’s a wonderful example of what people can do together, and of how talented these young URI students are,” Wisecup said. “The URI faculty deserves a lot of credit here, too. We are so pleased to be working together on this. It’s a real win-win.”

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