The Importance of Conserving Energy

by Cait Conner

Simpson College has undergone sustainability efforts to eliminate and conserve energy on campus.

I started Simpson College in August of 2010, because I heard about their efforts of sustainability, John Harris, Campus Services General Manager, says.

“Gary Dooley, our Maintenance manager and assistant director of facilities, has been a leader in this effort,” Harris said. “He has been very involved with our campus leadership and student organizations for years with student programs.”

In Simpson’s Sustainability effort, the college has replaced lighting with LED lights and utilized occupancy sensors, replaced underground steam lines with compact high efficiency gas boilers in each of the buildings that are controlled through the energy management system, utilized Geo-Thermal heating and cooling in Kent Campus Center, The Blank Performing Arts addition and Clinton apartments, purchased only Energy Star appliances(washing machines and machines used at the food services buildings), Vender Miser energy devices on pop/candy machines and replaced windows in Barker, Kresge, Buxton, Hillman, etc.

Students can help conserve energy by: Turning off lights when not needed, keep thermostats at a reasonable level, use smart power strips for their electric needs and communicate with each other, Harris says.

“We often find that a window will be open in a room, because someone is warm and then the heat will be turned up by a different person because they are cold,” Harris said.

Simpson College is not only conserving energy, but making an effort to go green. The campus is doing so by recycling waste, using Geo-Thermal heating and cooling, lighting retrofits/LED lighting, using low plumbing fixtures on campus and in housing, steam plant decentralization, window replacement projects, installing the water fountain bottle filling stations, electric running grounds vehicles to reduce emissions, etc.

We’ve had a student group growing a sustainable garden on campus for a year years now as well, Harris says.

“The most important thing in conserving energy produced by the burning of fossil fuels is the health of our Planet Earth!” Harris said.

“We must think of those who will follow us by making things better than the way we found them,” Harris said.

According to Green America’s website ( by switching out light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s/turning them off when not needed, using ceiling fans to help cool instead of having the air conditioner on full blast, washing your clothes on a cool cycle and air drying your laundry and air drying your dishes you can conserve 33 percent of energy.

Little things such as: turning off light switches or air drying dishes may not seem like they would make a huge impact on energy in a short term view; however, in the long run…it may conserve more energy than you think.

For more energy saving tips, visit or contact Campus Services to learn more information about how you can get involved with Simpson’s going green program or how you can help conserve energy.