Student volunteers installed energy-efficient light bulbs, added weatherstripping to doorways, filled wall cracks, changed a hot water heater blanket and plugged in new power strips at the Sigma Nu fraternity house on Sunday.
The work was part of “Greening the Greeks,” an ongoing joint program by the Energy Service Corps of the California Public Interest Research Group and AmeriCorps.
“The average American uses an amount of energy that is equivalent to about 7 gallons of gasoline per day,” said Donna Farvard, campaign coordinator for CalPIRG. “Upgrading the Greek houses and giving their residents energy-saving tips will definitely help reduce the amount of energy they use.
“Seeing as how Greek life is so large in Davis, this will save the city a lot of energy, save the residents money and also save the environment by lowing their carbon footprints and ultimately contributing less to global warming and air pollution.”
Fraternity members, Associated Students of UC Davis representatives and members of the UCD Environmental Club and UCD Lions Club did the work. Yolo Energy Watch donated the supplies.
“The retrofitting of the Sigma Nu house is just the beginning of a series of initiatives I hope will bring lasting and positive change to our Greek community and the university,” said Liam Burke, ASUCD senator.
The Energy Service Corps focuses its efforts on K-12 education, campus outreach and community outreach.
During 2010-11, according to CalPIRG, it completed the weatherization of more than 60 buildings on campuses, worked with more than 15,000 schoolchildren and provided energy assessments of hundreds of low-income units and community buildings.
About 41 percent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2011 was used in buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
— Reach Cory Golden at email@example.com or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden