Turn it off!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Written by Bob Przybyla

I have really appreciated the stickers that I are at showing up on the light switches. The stickers are designed and placed to remind people to turn off the lights when people are leaving places like bathrooms. It bothers me to no end when I am in the UC on the weekend when there are at times literally 20 people in the whole building and when I go into the bathroom, the lights are on.

I will be the first one to criticize the cost of tuition and fees. I will also criticize where I believe the university could be easily cutting back to save money. But, there is one step that everyone can take to help with the cost of utilities and help the environment. Just turn off the lights when you are leaving a room. In 2005/2006 the University paid $19.4million for utilities. The cost of utilities grew by more than 30% since 2001/2002.

Another thing I've noticed is that often times I will see the same offices lit up from the outside of buildings. My habit of taking late-night walks the 3 semesters I spent in residence allowed me to see that many times it was the same offices with the lights left on for the entire night. I know that there is a myth that leaving lights on uses less power than turning them off and then back on. Well, this is not the case. To quote one of my favorite shows, mythbusters, that's not the case. The mythbusters experiment showed that the only way leaving a light on will use less power than turning it off is if you are turning the light back on within 20 seconds with a fluorescent bulb. in the case of incandescent, halogen and LED you are looking at a max turn around time of 1.5 seconds. So pretty much no matter what you are going to save money and energy at home and on campus if you just turn the lights off.

Seriously, it's easy, do it.

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  1. Posted by: Dave Heppenstall on Oct 28, 2007 @ 2:44am

    A positively excellent suggestion. I would like to see this information distributed to the aforementioned offices...

    - Dave

  2. Posted by: on Nov 20, 2007 @ 9:46pm

    Hear hear...

    I totally agree. I love seeing the Energy Aware stickers on the light switches...because of those reminders I now have the habit of always turning off lights...the other day I turned a washroom light off as I was leaving - there was still somebody inside - sorry about that.

  3. Posted by: Neil on Nov 21, 2007 @ 3:30am

    I know lot's of other buildings that use motion sensors in places like bathrooms. It usually takes them only half a second to be activated as you walk into the bathroom and they will turn themselves off after a certain amount of time (as set by the user). Has this option been investigated?

  4. Posted by: Alex on Jan 10, 2008 @ 11:00am

    I believe it's a good idea just to conserve energy, but I don't think any amount of conservation on OUR part will actually lower the tuition. The money we save will simply be used for something else (which isn't necessarily bad).

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