OSU energy conservation efforts inspire new law

It's part of Recruitment Director Susan Tolbart's routine: "anything that's electrical we will turn off," she said.

Each night, she powers down computers at OSU-Tulsa's Student Services Center, and turns off all the lights.

"We've gotten to where people work in the dark because people forget to turn the lights back on," Tolbart said.

Energy Education Manager Angelyn Holmes says it's the efforts of the faculty and staff that have paid off for the university. Since 2007, OSU-Tulsa has saved $2 million by conserving energy. The university has saved $19 million at all campuses statewide.

"Everyone has a role to play. Anyone who is using energy has a way to save energy," Holmes said.

Holmes helped OSU-Tulsa reduce energy consumption by 26 percent in five years simply through educating employees on OSU's common sense approach to energy conservation. "It's not about going and buying thousands of dollars worth of equipment," she said. "It's people-based. Making the right decisions to conserve."

OSU installed deduct meters to determine how much water the university is consuming, so they're not charged for unused water.

Holmes monitors room temperatures to ensure they stay within guidelines set by the school. Lights are off in rooms that aren't being used and many of the rooms are equipped with motion sensors to automatically shut off when people leave.

Two years ago, OSU-Tulsa also implemented a paper recycling program which saves them about $4000 per year. The university has also teamed with PepsiCo to place Dream Machines for recycling cans and plastic bottles on campus. The Pepsi Dream Machine program has recycled 670 pounds of aluminum and 950 pounds of plastic in the past year.

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