QU fires up clean electricity initiative

Jessica Solup

Quinnipiac University is making every effort to become more environmentally-conscious with their electrical power – in fact, a 100 percent effort.

Since Jan. 1, 100 percent of Quinnipiac’s electricity requirements have come from renewable energy credits.

The University has decided to “go green” to advance its environmental position in the community and in the realm of higher education, according to Associate Director of Facilities Keith Woodward, leader of Quinnipiac’s Sustainability Interest Group.

“We have been talking for three to four months about wanting to make all of the electricity green,” Woodward said.

Through Quinnipiac’s electric supplier, Trans Canada, the University obtained Connecticut Class II Renewable Energy Credits, converting garbage, certain hydropower and bio mass supplies to energy.

“We needed to work through the renewable energy credits with our supplier and in the end we could provide Quinnipiac with 100 percent green electricity as defined by the state of Connecticut,” Woodward said.

Laboratory Instructor Kristen Richardson, organizer for Quinnipiac’s Sustainability Interest Group, is also aware that more can be done for the environment.

According to the American Coal Foundation, nine out of every 10 tons of coal mined in the United States today is used to generate electricity, and more than half of the electricity used in the U.S. is coal-generated.

“I feel electricity can be the dirtiest form of energy,” Richardson said.

Most electricity is generated by coal because it is the cheapest fossil fuel. When coal is burned, it creates steam that pollutes the air.

The University has also made other environmentally-friendly changes to improve the school. Approximately 40 percent of its chemicals are Green Seal certified.

“All of our paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels meet or exceed EPA standards for recycled paper content,” Woodward said.

Quinnipiac has replaced 383 toilets this past summer. This will decrease the water usage by about 2 million gallons on the Mount Carmel campus.

A hydration station was also installed on campus to decrease the use of water and to try to persuade the community to reuse their water bottle.  The first location is in Tator Hall next to a water fountain by the Computer Help Desk.

“It’s important for everyone to try being more environmental-conscious,” Woodward said. “I think anything we can do to help our environment is a step in the right direction.”

Quinnipiac recently received a $11,130 check for installing environmentally-friendly lights in the Facilities building.