By distributing energy-saving light bulbs, the Green Campus Council (GCC) has found a way to make late-night studying more efficient for students living in on-campus residence halls.
As part of campus Waste Awareness Week, which began Monday, the GCC and Housing and Residential Services are providing residence halls with a light bulb exchange service. Students can swap their old 60-watt light bulbs with new spiraling, compact fluorescent 14-watt bulbs that provide the same amount of light as normal bulbs while using less energy.
GCC Coordinator Aaron Gilliam said each dorm has been provided with an equal share of the 600 available bulbs, which will be given to students on a first-come, first-serve basis between 6 and 9 p.m. The exchange service began Monday for students in the Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Anacapa Residence Halls, and will continue today at San Miguel and San Nicolas. Students living in San Rafael Residence Hall and Manzanita Village will be able to swap on Wednesday, with Francisco Torres residents having their chance Thursday.
Through a deal with light bulb manufacturers and the UCSB Bookstore, the GCC was able to purchase each bulb for $2.50, Gilliam said, as opposed to the $6 retail price. Both the low-energy light bulbs and standard bulbs give off the same 900 lumens of light.
“They save 75 percent of the energy of a regular light bulb,” Gilliam said. “They give out the same amount of light, but give us 25 percent of the energy.”
According to Housing and Residential Services’ Energy and Environment Manager Mark Rousseau’s annual energy report, UCSB spent $6,212,889.05 on core electrical costs last year. Gilliam said he hopes for a 10 percent reduction in energy costs this month. Half of the savings would potentially go to Rousseau’s budget for energy efficiency upgrades, while the other half would pay for pizza parties and rewards for the winners of monthly energy-saving competitions among the dorms, he said.
Tashina Brito, a first-year business economics major and desk attendant at San Nicolas Residence Hall, said the light bulb swap was a great way to get students involved in saving energy.
“Everyone should do [his or her] part to save energy,” Brito said. “I turn my light and TV off when I leave my room.”
Gilliam said he hopes this week will effectively reduce campus energy use, inform students about energy efficiency and the environmental impact of energy use, and educate campus residents about energy conservation. Housing and Residential Services and the Residence Halls Association are also educating students about wasting food products and providing recycling information as part of Waste Awareness Week, Gilliam said.
In the future, the GCC plans to implement an Energy Watchdog program, Gilliam said. A task force of students will walk around at night on campus looking for those who blatantly waste energy and provide them with suggestions for reducing their electricity consumption.