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Campus Recognized for Energy, Water Efficiency

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Cal State Fullerton has been honored with two Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards and will be recognized in June at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.

One of the top honors was in recognition of the campus’ 2015 lighting retrofit, which involved replacing 65,000 interior, linear fluorescent lamps with LED tubes throughout the campus buildings.

“The energy savings and utility incentives were major drivers in this retrofit,” explained Kyle Mann, energy efficiency program specialist in facilities operations. “In addition, the University is seeing an annual energy savings of approximately 4 million kilowatt hours — equivalent to the electrical use of 380 homes per year — or approximately half a million dollars in savings.”

The University also garnered first-place honors in sustainable transportation for its battery storage and EV Charging System. The University’s 12 charging ports — located in areas easily accessible to campus commuters — are used throughout the day during peak electric-load periods.

To mitigate the power spikes caused by peak EV charging, a new battery energy storage system was installed along with a new high-speed EV charging station. “Coupling these two emerging technologies together allows CSUF to showcase a unique solution addressing multiple issues — as well as the University needs — all at once,” said Doug Kind, associate director of engineering and sustainabilty.

In addition, Cal State Fullerton earned an honorable mention on its response to the statewide drought. After recognizing that the largest proportion of the campus’ water use was for landscaping, CSUF removed 11 acres of lawn and replanted with native wildflowers and grasses, decorative rock and ground cover.

Not watering those 11 acres — totaling more than 471,000 square feet — in addition to other efforts, helped the campus exceed the 28 percent water usage reduction goal mandated by the governor, said Megan Moscol, sustainability programs manager in facilities operations. “In a very visible way, we show the campus and community that we are proud of our native flora and responsible citizens when it comes to conserving water resources.”

The June California Higher Education Sustainability Conference event will be held at Cal State Fullerton and is sponsored by the University of California/California State University and IOU Energy Efficiency Partnership.