Students who call Hillcrest Hall home have likely notices some bright -- and sustainable – changes throughout the building.

A re-lamping and re-ballasting of existing light fixtures in public spaces from older, high energy consuming models to newer, energy efficient models is expected to save the university $4,300 a year in energy costs.

“These changes will have immediate energy savings,” said Catherine Goggins of Newport News, Va., a junior majoring in agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the student who proposed the project on behalf of the Environmental Coalition at Virginia Tech.

“As the smallest residence hall on campus, it could also serve as a trial for other larger residence halls on campus,” said Goggins.

The cost of re-ballasting and re-lamping project in Hillcrest was approximately $30,000. From energy savings, the project will pay for itself in approximately seven years and savings would grow in subsequent years.

The project was funded as part of the Green RFP program. Now in its fourth year, the program encourages students and student groups to submit proposals for funding campus sustainability projects that support Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment. Preference will be given to proposals will produce tangible savings and those that require one-time rather than ongoing support.

Last year, the Green RFP program funded more than $92,000 in projects.

For more information about this Green RFP program and other sustainability initiatives at Virginia Tech, visit the Office of Energy and Sustainability website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Emily Schosid.

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