Reducing Emissions

In 2001, ISU switched from a coal powered steam plant on campus to a central steam heating plant fired by natural gas boilers, which has reduced our emissions by approximately 1.8 million pounds of greenhouse gases annually.

Reducing Usage

As a part of our Climate Action Plan, ISU has made a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. One of the largest components of reaching this goal is reducing our use of electricity on campus. Electricity accounted for 61% of ISU’s 2009 carbon emissions.

ISU has converted our lighting from incandescent bulbs to compact florescent, which has reduced our electricity consumption by one third.  We have partnered with the EPA Green Lights program to install energy efficient lighting and controls. We also worked with Duke Energy’s Indiana Demand Side Management (DSM) Core Programs, which provided rebates for upgrading existing facilities to energy efficient equipment. Though this program, we installed a variable-air-volume HVAC system for the Cunningham Memorial Library.

Lightswitch plate covers have been installed throughout campus to remind everybody to take responsibility for energy conservation.

Residential Life is also proactive in reducing energy consumption in the dorms when students are not on campus. They examine all rooms and follow an extensive check list to make sure that the dorms are pulling the least amount of energy necessary for basic operation during winter break and when not in use in the summer. Part of this check list includes shutting down and unplugging all appliances during the break.  Appliances in dorms are only permitted to draw one amp. Sandison and Pickerel Halls were recently renovated to include windows that have a double pane of glass filled with argon to reduce energy loss.

Energy conservation continues to be an issue with older buildings.  For example, energy loss through gaps in insulation in the Sycamore Towers is a major energy cost, yet it would cost $1 million to caulk all four towers to seal up these cracks.