Sustainable Use of Electrical Energy at the University of Sonora; Mexico

N. Minguía
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Sonora, Måxico

A. Zavala
Work Environment Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell

L. Velázquez
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Sonora, Måxico \ Work Environment Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp11057907

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:21, s. 907-912

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The University of Sonora as a sustainable higher education institution has been committed for almost two decades to continuously increase its involvement with society by helping in their transition to more sustainable lifestyle and recently by implementing and maintaining a Sustainability Management System (SMS) on Campus which it is actually certified under the ISO 14001:2004 international standard. One of the sustainability programs within the SMS is the Sustainable Management of Electrical Energy (SMEE) that comprises not only energy efficiency initiatives but also energy conservation initiatives. This paper is aimed at describing the experience of the University of Sonora in fostering changes on attitudes and behaviors that result in energy conservation. Before the implementation of the SMEE was common to find lack of interest among students; professor; and employees for energy conservation behaviors such as shutting down air conditioners or turning off lights when they were not necessary given as a result a repeatedly energy wastage and consequently; the generation of CO2 emissions that increase climate change. Findings presented in this paper indicate that changes on attitudes and behaviors can generate good practices for conserving energy and reduce the environmental burden of universities. Sustainability indicators have proven the efficacy and efficient of the SMEE; at the financial dimension; the SMEE has reached savings of over 5; 840 USD in three years; from the environmental dimension; the SMEE has avoided the emissions of 33;287 kg of CO2; but the most important indicator come from the social dimension where wasting behaviors have been modified by increasing community awareness. Positive trends on the SMEE indicators suggest the increasing of awareness of the impact of energy wastage among the university community who act in consequence of this in favor of the environment. Additionally; an awareness survey was conducted to 650 members of the university community such as faculty; students; administrative staff and service personnel to reveal which energy conservation initiatives would be willing to follow; such as: turn off the lights at the term class; turn off the air conditioned when the classroom is not in use; close doors and windows to avoid that the air-conditioning air leakage; etc. Findings show that most of participants are becoming aware of the impact of the energy wastage and they are willing to participate in the SMEE in order to reduce those environmental impacts. Findings also show that willingness of the university community for participating or supporting more than one energy conservation initiatives on campus; the behavior of turn off lights and air conditioners when finishing the class is the preferred option.


Energy conservation; Sustainable management system; Climate change


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