LED lights in parking lots, solar panels among projects to get funding from AS Green Energy Fee

Western Today staff

[ Editor's note: This article has been amended to reflect that fact that the first institution whose students voted to self-impose a green fee was not WWU but the University of Colorado - Boulder, in 1973. Thanks to Mieko Ozeki for the correction. ]

The Associated Students at Western Washington University has announced the projects slated to receive funding from Green Energy Fee grant program, according to a press release from the AS. The money comes from a fee the student body voted to impose on itself; Western's was the first student body in the nation to self-impose this kind of fee.

The projects have gone through careful consideration and examination. Five projects, expected to benefit WWU and the campus community in both the short and long terms, have been awarded a combined total of $263,900.

  • A proposal made by a team led by Matthew Moroney, of Salt Lake City, to install a 5-kilowatt-hour solar array on the Environmental Studies building’s south-facing roof has been awarded $167,500.
  • Grant Bowman, from Dallas, and his group proposed to retrofit parking lot light fixtures with energy efficient light emitting diodes and has been awarded $61,000. This project is expected to reduce Western’s energy consumption.
  • A proposal spearheaded by Julia Shure, a Seattle native, has been awarded $21,000 to install water bottle refilling stations around campus and to fund speakers and educational events related to the global water crisis and the bottled water industry.
  • Thirteen thousand dollars have been awarded to a proposal led by Bodie Cabiyo, from Tonasket, that will replace paper towel dispensers with high-speed air hand dryers in selected bathrooms around campus, reducing both energy consumption and paper waste.
  • A paper towel composting project, led by Greg Meyer, of Piedmont, Calif., will be implemented to modify selected waste receptacles in Haggard Hall to only accept organic waste instead of all waste in order to be composted. This project was awarded $1,400.

Students pay $21 each academic year for the Green Energy Fee. The majority of the fee is used to pay for renewable energy credits, which enables Western to be completely powered by renewable energy and be the leading higher-education purchaser of renewable energy in Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The money left over from purchasing renewable energy credits is used to fund the Green Energy Fee grant program.

For more information, contact Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Jamin Agosti by phone at (360) 650-3736 or by email at asvp.life@wwu.edu.