Past Projects

Take the PowerSave Green Campus Sustainability Pledge

Fill out this quick pledge and join the thousands of students across this campus who practice sustainability in their daily lives. It only takes a minute. The changes are small, but the effect can be great!

Butte Station Audit

The aim of this project is to “green up” the “least energy efficient building on campus”. By identifying potential savings through an energy audit in the small station on campus known as Butte Station, recommendations will be proposed, and the possibility of retrofits can be explored. A recent campus-wide assessment conducted by PG&E and Facilities Management has identified Butte Station as the least energy efficient building (per square footage) on campus. Butte Station is run by AS Dining, and is known to have inefficient, “open-style” refrigeration that stays on even when the station is not open for business. Our PowerSave Campus team recognizes the opportunity for improvement and will provide auditing, as well as suggestions on where operations can improve. The experience gained by identifying potential savings will help develop our auditing skills for similar projects in the future. For costly expenses such as nightshade retrofits, or automated on/off timers, the team will look to source funding from opportunities such as rebate programs and the Chico State Sustainability Fund. The result will be quantifiable, actual savings, in support of our university’s sustainable reputation.

Outdoor Lighting Retrofit

The objective is to create actual energy savings by retrofitting outdoor lighting with new bulbs. The first step is surveying the areas on campus that we believe have the potential to improve energy efficiency. The next step was mapping the locations of each light post in the two chosen areas. From there, day time images of the bulbs and lamps  will then be used to help Facilities Management identify the bulb types. We will also use an infrared thermometer and a foot-candle meter to determine properties of the different bulbs, such as radiant heat and luminescence. After collecting data for the current bulbs, it can be analyzed to help find more efficient alternatives. It will then be necessary to allocate funding for our proposed upgrade and installation. We intend to pursue a diverse range of funding opportunities, from SFAC, The Green Initiative, rebates from PG&E, our own rebate pool from past projects, and possibly partnering in a pilot program.  Once we receive the funding, bulbs can be purchased, and the retrofit will be completed after the installation. Savings will add up every night when the outdoor lighting kicks on.

Plumas Hall Compressor Audit

On the CSU campus hidden from obvious view are a multitude of labs where students are able to obtain hands-on experience within their fields. As a Sustainable manufacturing major, one of our members’ labs often consist of dirt, grime, and lots of mechanical equipment, including electrical saws, lathes, furnaces, and welding supplies. All of this equipment is accompanied with a troublesome sound…the sound of energy being wasted. Upon entering the labs during off-hours, when all is quiet and students aren’t grinding away at their work, a “hiss” lingers off in the distance. This hiss is from potential leaks somewhere along the line system between the compressors and the majority of tools in the labs that they supply air to. The mission is to evaluate the compressor system in Plumas Hall to identify leakage from broken/unmaintained air hoses and provide energy savings by fixing leaks or updating parts.

Vending Machine Audit

The goal of this project is to develop a greater understanding of the energy consumption of the vending machines on campus, and to find ways to decrease their overall footprint on campus. A comprehensive understanding of the campus’ vending situation will allow for informed and targeted energy saving measures to be implemented. Such methods could include “motion sensor” installation, elimination of machines that are rarely used, outdated, containing irresponsible items such as bottled water, or machines that refrigerate items unnecessarily. The project starts by obtaining more information on the vending machines from AS Dining Services and the third party vendor they contract. Once we know more about the contracts of the machines, their stocking schedule, and individual energy use, we can implement a plan to reduce their consumption of energy.

Green Career Forum at TWTS VIII

This March PowerSave Green Campus will be hosting a Green Career Forum at Chico State’s ‘This Way to Sustainability’ Conference. This forum is aimed at educating those at the conference about ways in which they can get involved in a workforce dedicated to sustainable principles and practices. The forum is an interactive experience for students to see what kinds of opportunities are available in today’s expanding environmentally conscious workforce. Many of the panelists featured during this panel session are involved with energy and water efficiency programs, as well as conservation planning and waste auditing. A question and answer session will follow and attendees are highly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to interact with individuals currently working for a “green” company or organization.

Greening the Career Fair

Join us at the Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, April 10th 2013 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium. PowerSave Green Campus will be identifying businesses with sustainable practices and companies that are hiring for sustainable positions. This is a great opportunity for students to discover companies and organizations that they may have not known were sustainable. For example, the Kohl’s company, as of December 2012, has 137 solar power systems activated in California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Arizona. They have a team committed to environmental responsibility. There were many employers that have surprised us in the past, which is encouraging for all students who are looking for sustainable positions in the future.

Wildcat Sustainability Showdown

Chico State will be participating in the 3rd annual Campus Conservation Nationals this February 2013 and PowerSave Green Campus along with the help of the Institute for Sustainable Development, SCOOP, UHFS, Facilities Management, and more will be collaborating to make this event very successful! This event, called “Wildcat Sustainability Showdown”, will involve two residence halls on campus to compete on a variety of levels and will take place over a three-week period starting February 14th, and ending on March 7th, 2013. Lassen Hall and Shasta Hall (which house 210 freshmen residents) will be competing nationally against all other campus participants as well as against each other in order to reduce a substantial amount of energy and water. Individuals in each residence hall will also be competing against one another in order to win prizes and motivate others to engage in the event. We are all very excited for this project, which will target a variety of areas including energy and water savings, outreach, and student engagement by integrating a “Eco-Resident Certification” provided by SCOOP as well as information regarding the upcoming “This Way to Sustainability Conference” where the winners will be announced on March 7th, 2013 at the Conference Reception. Check out the live dashboard to see how each team is doing:

Tehama Lighting Project

In collaboration with Facilities Management here at Chico State, PowerSave Green Campus is conducting a lighting audit on Tehama Hall. The information collected in this audit will be the building blocks for a retrofit on the entire building. By switching the existing bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs the campus will save a significant amount of money on energy costs. After Tehama is done, O’Connell will also be audited and retrofitted. Our team is very excited about seeing some real kWh savings, and working with Facilities Management to reduce energy use on campus!

Career and Internship Fair

Career Fair flyerJoin us at the Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, November 7th 2012 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium. PowerSave Green Campus will be identifying businesses with sustainable practices and companies that are hiring for sustainable positions.

WREC Towel Project

WREC Treadmill AdWith the energy the WREC uses for laundry in one week, you could play your iPod for 42 years!

Headed up by our very own Team Manager, Jenna Levy, this project aims to bring awareness to the energy and water use behind using towels at the WREC. Through trivia, raffles, sustainability pledges, and social events, PowerSave Green Campus hopes to reduce the towels used and subsequently washed at the WREC. Look for our PowerSave Green Campus table periodically throughout the semester in the WREC and at sustainability events on campus.Please be aware (pdf).

IPAN Distribution

This project was started last fall, and has been a continuing project for PowerSave Green Campus. 1,050 IPANs were given to our Chico State team to be distributed all over campus. IPANs are power strips that use significantly less energy by employing a motion sensor. They are great for use labs, offices, and classrooms. They are easy to use and help to reduce our cumulative energy use on campus. We have distributed over 50% of our entire stock of IPANs, and aim to have another 200 delivered by November of this year. The university receives a rebate from PG&E once all iPANs are distributed, which is a great bonus for the project. If you would like an IPAN, have any questions about the process or technology, please email the Amanda Leonis, Project Coordinator for PowerSave Green Campus

WWF Earth Hour Campaign

Every year the World Wild Life Fund promotes an event they call Earth Hour where they ask individuals, companies and schools to sign up with them and pledge to turn off their lights for one hour on a specific day. This action signifies that unity in the fight against Global Warming.  Last year because of PowerSave Green Campus efforts in campaigning to join the earth hour movement Saturday March 27, 2010 the Campus turned off the lights in 8 buildings around campus.

Energy Competition

PowerSave Green Campus installed real-time metering in two residence halls on campus, Shasta and Lassen. The Metering is on display on our website throughout the year and in the residence halls when the events are held. PowerSave Green Campus regularly hosts energy reduction competitions with each hall. First-year students are educated on energy conservation practices, such as what temperature to set their room to, and how to prevent phantom loads, while participating to win prizes such as gift certificates, iPods, and pizza parties. We are currently reevaluating our measurements after the construction that took place on that side of campus but expect to have an energy competition run in spring semester.

Turn off the Lights Campaign

PowerSave Green Campus has been working with the IT department to install Faronics Powersave in labs across campus. Currently approximately 800 computers

Green Career Fair

Green Campus partnered with Net Impact and Career Services to get the word out to students who attend the career fair about which companies have sustainable jobs students can apply for ands which companies have sustainable practices. We determine this by sending out surveys to the companies prior to the career fair. In addition, part of this project also involves outreach to the students. At the career fair we encourage students to take at survey at our booth about their own sustainable habits and the importance of working for a sustainable company. Students are then given a green ribbon to wear during the career fair to signify that they value sustainability in a company. As an added benefit this also gives them a strong talking point when they begin speaking with “Green” employers.

Sustainability House

Konkow Honors House 2 was transformed a few years ago into the Sustainability House, the most energy-efficient, sustainable dorm unit to be offered at any of the California campuses, not to mention the largest. This sustainable living project, adopted by Chico State’s Green Campus with support from The Alliance to Save Energy, is intended to inform students about how to live more sustainably. The Sustainability House has the same floor layout as neighboring housing units, yet promotes sustainable ways of living through the usage of compact fluorescent light bulbs, water-saving showerheads and faucets. It also comes equipped with energy-efficient Energy Star appliances such as a dishwasher, radio, TV and stove.
Living in the Sustainability House creates awareness about sustainability amongst freshmen and teaches them how to live a more environment-friendly lifestyle. These Energy Star appliances, such as the radio can use up to 60% less energy and the TV can save up to 25%. Other energy-efficient methods such as the use of CFLs can save up to 75% the energy used by incandescent light bulbs. The Sustainability House is a housing option for incoming freshmen interested in environmental issues and this year is home to 14 freshmen. If you are interested in living here, please contact University Housing. In order to live in the Sustainability House you need to be a participant in the Chico State Honors Program. For more information, visit the Honors website at

Captain Energy

In the past, PowerSave Green Campus has been involved with outreach activities with our informal mascot Captain Energy. You may seem him/her roaming the campus in search of energy reduction and environmental justice!

It was a sizzling hot September afternoon in Chico, California. Captain Energy was roaming the sky looking down on the college houses and apartments. The hero was searching for houses that were in danger of using too much energy. As Captain Energy scanned the area from above the hero noticed a bright red glow coming from a large house on Hazel Street. The house was using four times the power of an average house in Chico on a fall day. Captain Energy quickly swooped down to the front porch of the old house, obviously lived in by numerous college students. The porch light was turned on even though it was 4 p.m. and bright outside. Three windows in the front of the house were open, letting warm air in. As Captain Energy opened the door the hero noticed it was considerably colder in the house, about 65 degrees. All of the lights were on, the TVs in two different rooms were on, the dishwasher was running as well as the washing machine. This house was in need of some major energy-saving tips! Captain Energy walked upstairs and down the hallway as he followed the sound of a girl’s voice screaming to the blaring music of Kelli Clarkson. The girl was startled when she saw Captain Energy, for she knew she was in trouble. Captain Energy gave a smile and said, “I am Captain Energy, here to save you from a large PG&E bill and a major power failure. Follow these tips and help save our world. Step up. Power down.” Captain Energy is here to save the world from wasteful energy practices one person at a time. Conquering the demons of the modern world, Captain Energy shows us that saving energy can be easier than you think. Fighting against his arch nemesis Merv, we see that conserving energy is as easy as making a few simple changes in our everyday lives. By unplugging your appliances, opening your blinds and stepping up and powering down we can all help Captain Energy prevent students from practicing wasteful energy practices.

Vending Misers:

Green Campus, in collaboration with A.S. Food Services, has hired a third party to install sensors on the beverage vending machines on campus. The sensors will put the vending machines in sleep mode when not in use, which will save a lot of energy.

Sustainable Consultation Of Office Practices (SCOOP):
The sustainable consultation project aims to promote sustainable office practices through education and an initial audit. This project is now institutionalized into the university in collaboration with Net Impact, A.S. Sustainability, A.S. Recycling, and the Institute for Sustainable Development and has become its own organization! Green Campus lends interns to SCOOP to do the energy audit portion of many of the office audits.

Greeks Going Green:

PowerSave Green Campus has been working with several sororities and fraternities to conduct sustainable consultations and get each house more involved in sustainability and environmental efforts. It is very important to not only make changes to the home regarding energy conservation and recycling, but also to educate people about the numerous ways they can incorporate sustainable living practices into their everyday lives.
Whitney Hall Energy Reduction Competition:
Much like the competition with Shasta and Lassen halls, our energy reduction competition with Whitney Hall will teach residents more about saving energy and test their skills in a month-long competition to see how much energy they can save. If the residents save 5% or more (when compared to a previous month) they will receive a party for their hard work.

Take the Stairs Day:

Students and faculty on campus will be encouraged to take the stairs rather than the elevator for at least one day this semester. They will get candy if they do so and can be entered into our raffle for some great prizes! There are many benefits to taking the stairs, so of which include: saving energy, helping the environment and exercise!

CFL Exchanges:

PowerSave Green Campus staff and interns have continually hosted many compact florescent light bulb exchanges on campus. Students receive a more energy and cost efficient CFL in exchange for their traditional light bulbs

Relay to a Brighter Future:

PowerSave Green Campus held the Relay to a Brighter Future April 23, 2008 on the lawn between Lassen/Shasta halls. Captain Energy hosted the relay featuring energy conservation and sustainability related obstacles. Student participants had the opportunity to win $20 gift cards from: Pita Pit, Trucker, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, iTunes and Jon & Bons. This event also included a CFL exchange.

Open the Blinds, Turn Off the Lights Professor’s Challenge:

PowerSave Green Campus promoted behavioral changes in professors, encouraging them to turn off the lights and open the blinds in classrooms that permitted such practices. There were about 30 professors that participated in this event to raise awareness about small changes that we all can make involving energy use.

Green Cup Card:

To reduce the amount of waste that is generated and land filled in addition to reducing the energy required for the manufacturing and transportation processes, PowerSave Green Campus has implemented an incentive to use reusable drink cups and containers on campus. When you use a reusable cup or container when purchasing a drink on campus at participating stores and cafes, you receive a stamp on your Green Cup Card, which is provided at most University Food Service locations. After receiving six stamps, you get a free soda or coffee.
Energy Star® Change a Light, Change the World:
PowerSave Green Campus pledged to have 1000 people change at least one light in their home. We reached our goal in May 2007, with more than 1,000 pledges. We will now begin helping PG & E with its campaign to change even more lights bulbs.


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