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A Conference to Save $1 Billion Over 20 Years: The Appalachian Energy Summit Held July 9 to 11

By Jesse Wood

June 10, 2012. The Appalachian Energy Summit, which started yesterday and lasts until tomorrow, Wednesday, July 11, happens on the campus of ASU, and representatives for the 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina system will attend. 

The purpose of the conference is “to help create a more sustainable energy future and to learn about ways to significantly reduce this major expenditure,” according to a memorandum that UNC system President Tom Ross sent to the college’s chancellors. 

The UNC system spends $226 million a year on energy, which is about $1,000 per student, according to the N.C. Energy Center, and this figure will continue to increase if nothing changes. 

“If our UNC campuses can reduce energy usage by just 20 percent, collectively we will save $1 billion over the next 20 years,” Ross wrote in the memorandum. 

Goals of the Summit include:

  • Educate our students to be the leaders of tomorrow through our active and demonstrative pursuit of the initiative’s goals.
  • Reduce and stabilize the university’s average annual energy expenditures, currently equaling $1,000 per student. Target costs associated with the University’s rising annual $226 million expenditure on energy. Focus on initiatives that will cumulatively save the university system in excess of $1 billion over 20 years.
  • Transform and stimulate the North Carolina economy through the support of Green Energy business infrastructure, creating jobs in the new energy economy.
  • Position the University of North Carolina system and our Private University colleagues as national leaders in sustainability education and for reducing reliance on environmentally damaging fossil fuels. 
  • Create a culture of environmental and economic sustainability across the UNC system through administrative leadership, student involvement, curricula development, campus operations, and new partnerships between the university, its benefactors, and industry.

Rocky Mountain Institutes Chairman and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins is the keynote speaker at the three-day event. A sustainable energy expert, Lovins was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009. 

Today, from 1 to 5 p.m., numerous “functional breakout” sessions featuring professional facilitation, content experts, team leaders and a recorder will occur. See below.

Leadership: Chris Mossey – US Navy + Dr. David Shi: Furman University
Financial and Regulatory Considerations – Dan Seif: RMI + Carolyn Elfland: UNC Chapel Hill
Academic Integration – Dr. William Winder: NC State
Building Efficiency – Elaine Adams: RMI
Transportation – Greg Rucks: RMI + Anne Tazewell: NC State Solar Center
Energy Generation and Distribution Efficiency – Robert Hutchinson: RMI
Technology Systems Integration and Management – Lena Hanson: RMI

For more information, click to http://sustain.appstate.edu/appalachian-energy-summit.