Wilkes needs energy upgrades


Lights on campus, like the ones pictures, are frequently left on all day and all night

The Beacon

Saving energy means more money to spend on resources for students and faculty. If that’s the case, why don’t we do it? Wilkes University has certainly made progress in becoming a more energy efficient school. However, The Beacon believes that there is still a multitude of solutions which we may implement to further reduce our energy waste.

On average, Wilkes University spends $1.5 million annually on electricity. There are current plans for an energy efficient science building, but what about the rest of the school?

“Wilkes is as energy efficient as other schools,” said John Pesta, Capital Projects and Planning Director.

It is easy for students who are not paying the electric bill to disregard the devices that are left plugged in. Energy is drawn from small appliances and electronic devices even when they are switched off. Power strips  or surge protectors can help eliminate “leaking energy”, or energy lost while the object is in “standby” mode.

As an all access building, Stark Learning Center’s hallway lights are on at all hours. Breiseth Hall’s hallway lights are kept on as well, even though the building is locked at night and no one is occupying it. Sensors can be efficient, yet costly. Manually turning off the lights is just as efficient, and at no cost to the school.

Both lights and appliances should be replaced with better and more efficient technology, which Wilkes is aiming at doing.

“We are looking to reduce our energy costs by purchasing, when available, energy star rated appliances, equipment and light bulbs as well as upgrading old lighting fixtures to more efficient ones,” said Philip Marino, Repairs and Maintenance Manager.

Most of the buildings at Wilkes University were built more than 50 years ago, and are now deemed “outdated”. Having virtually no modern fixtures in the older buildings and mansion style classrooms, Wilkes is in need of some serious energy upgrades.

“We are making sure we bring everything up to be energy efficient,” said John Pesta, Capital Projects and Planning Director.

The Beacon believes that these efforts to update, along with the simple act of turning off unnecessary lights at night, could go a long way in cutting back energy costs.