This morning I heard the FOAM top dog Mike Shriner make a pitch about our ongoing energy conservation efforts. A few hours earlier, my heater at home came to life for the first time this season with that annual burnt dust smell—so I listened with more than casual interest. We’ve been working on energy and resource conservation efforts at UTMB for a long time, and are about as good as anyone at it; the university has a long list of awards and accolades for its efforts, and our consumption of electricity, water and natural gas has remained fairly level for the past few years. That’s good, because as anyone who pays the bills at home knows, prices have shot skyward.
UTMB’s electric bill each month runs about $1.5 million, or more than $48,000 per day. Last year we spent $5.2 million for natural gas (the same amount of gas cost us $1.5 million less a year earlier). Our bill last year for water climbed half a million to $2.8 million, even though our consumption has been the same for the past five years.
The goal for 2007 is to try and reduce our consumption of resources by 3%. We each can play a role in helping us get there. UTMB is a big place. Often areas are much cooler or warmer than they need to be for people to be comfortable. If you find yourself in such a place, call ext. 21586 to correct it. Turn off lights. Report leaky faucets. Leave the space heaters at home. I’m going to unplug my mini-fridge, and start eating my apples at room temperature. If you have questions or suggestions, call “POWER”—ext. 76937.