Last week, PLNU announced that it received a gift of $51,000 dollars that was used to encourage energy efficiency by retrofitting the central processing plant on campus.
Donated by PLNU supporters Steve and PJ Bothwell, this gift will save PLNU energy costs of over 17% per year for 10 years, with an overall savings of $171,000. It is the Bothwell’s hope that their gift towards energy efficiencies on PLNU’s campus will encourage other donors to give in this area and allow PLNU to further their already substantial work towards sustainability.
PLNU has long been committed to ensuring a sustainable environment. PLNU President Bob Brower was one of the first presidents in the nation to sign the President’s Climate Commitment, which seeks to take steps to make the campus climate neutral and to fully integrate sustainability into the educational experience. Over the past five years, PLNU has installed a solar photovoltaic system just under one megawatt, with the equivalency of powering 115 San Diego homes per year. Their extensive recycling program is consistently recognized by the City of San Diego as “Recycler of the Year” and for the past two years PLNU has been recognized by the Sierra Club as one of the top 100 greenest schools in the nation.
PLNU students have taken on the cause as their own, electing to assess themselves a student green fee used to fund energy efficient projects on campus. Initiatives over the last three years have included installation of a solar thermal heating system on the largest freshman dorm, the exchange of dorm fixtures to low flow efficient equipment and the conversion of campus service vehicles to electric.
“PLNU strives to reflect our core values by taking a leadership role in environmental stewardship,” said Brower. “While the financial impact of this gift is substantial in itself, it will be instrumental in encouraging additional gifts towards sustainable initiatives in the future.”