6A -- Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
6A - Thursday, January 6, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Planet Blue exceeds goal to decrease
energy consumption for FY 2010
U.S. added 300,000 .
jobs in December
44 'U' buildings
reduced energy use
by 12 percent
By RACHEL BRUSSTAU
As a result of partnering with
various campus buildings, the
University's Planet Blue Opera-
tions Team exceeded its goal in
decreasing energy consumption
for the 2010 fiscal year.
Since the establishment of the
Planet Blue Operations Team
in fall 2008, the University has
saved about $3.5 million annually
by curtailing the consumption
of energy in campus buildings.
Overall, Planet Blue cut consump-
tion in 44 University buildings by
12 percent in the 2010 fiscal year,
according to a Dec. 14, 2010 Planet
Blue press release.
This represents a 1-percent
increase over the 2009 fiscal year,
when the University reduced
energy use by 11 percent in 30
buildings, according to Planet
Because of initiatives to increase
the University's energy efficiency,
cost savings and environmental
in the upcoming years, according
to Terrance Alexander, executive
director of the University's Office of
"We set for the Planet Blue
Operations Program ... a goal of
5-percent energy reduction in
buildings, so hitting over 10 per-
cent is far exceeding what we had
expected at that point, and we
think it's just going to get better as
time goes on," Alexander said.
In addition to leading Planet
Blue, Alexander oversees other sig-
ificant sustainability initiatives at
the University, including recycling
efforts and water conservation.
Though the University has
been working on energy conser-
vation projects for the last 20
years, the recent projects have.
given these efforts a new level of
success, Alexander said.
For the 2011 fiscal year, the
University's goal to achieve a
The Ross School of Business is among the most sustainable buildings on campus.
5-percent decrease in energy use
in campus buildings will remain
the same, but about 30 additional
buildings will begin projects in
energy efficiency. These buildings
include the Ruthven Museum of
Natural History, the Bentley His-
torical Library, several engineer-
ing buildings on North Campus
and the School of Dentistry -
bringing the total number of cam-
pus buildings involved in Planet
Blue projects to 90.
Alexander emphasized two
pivotal factors in evaluating the
overall success of the programs -
ensuring the building's conserva-
tion systems run as efficiently as
possible and teaching occupants
how to operate the building in the
most sustainable way.
"We can do all the things that
we can technically to make things
work right, but if the people still
don't understand how to make it
work right as they're working in
the building, we're not (going to)
get there, so the combination ofthe
two is really what makes it a suc-
cessful program," Alexander said.
Stephen Hipkiss, facilities and
operations manager of the Hatch-
er Graduate Library, echoed
Alexander's sentiments about
the importance of the partner-
ship between Planet Blue and
the employees working in build-
ings around campus. He said the
Planet Blue Operations Team's
instructions are a key component
of yielding positive results in sus-
tainability on campus.
While the library has been
working on energy conservation
for more than 10 years, Hipkiss
said Hatcher has been particu-
larly successful in the last four or
five years following partnerships
with Energy Star and Planet Blue.
He said improvements in motion
sensor lighting in the south stacks
area have been especially helpful
in cutting energy consumption.
"Lights that would be burning
normally 18 hours a day are not
burning if there's nobody using a
particular study carrel area," Hip-
He added that the lights benefit
students looking for a study spot.
"When a student comes onto
a floor they can immediately see
where there are carrels that are
available for their use because
there won't be light on above them
until they enter the carrel," he said.
As a result of the library's part-
nership with Planet Blue, Hatch-
er South avoided $109,000 in
energy costs between July 2009
and June 2010. It also reduced
the amount of energy used by 12
percent during the same period,
according to data on the Planet
"As I sit here today, I think our
figures next year will be substan-
tially better than they are even
today, and we're certainly way
ahead of the game from where
we were three or four years ago,"
The Office of Campus Sustain-
ability has also been working
with students through courses
taught in the School of Natural
Resources by Mike Shriberg, the
education director of the Gra-
ham Environmental Sustain-
ability Institute. The classes give
students the opportunity to gain
hands-on experience in the opera-
tional process of energy conserva-
"Each semester they connect
up withsixto eightprojects where
they can actually work with some
operations people and try to study
something or come up with an
idea to improve the campus sus-
tainability, so we've been doing
this for a number of years, and
we're just getting ready to kick
off the next set of classes there,"
Alexander added that the Office
of Campus Sustainability is also
participating in a project with the
Graham Environmental Sustain-
ability Institute called the Inte-
grated Assessment, which aims to
establish long-term sustainabil-
ity goals on campus. The project
comprises seven project teams,
each of which has anywhere from
five to eight students.
"It's giving more students the
chance to get more involved with
the operations groups," Alexan-
question accuracy of
NEW YORK (AP) - Compa-
nies added nearly 300,000 jobs in
December, according to an unof-
ficial count by a private payroll
firm - more than in any month in
the past decade. The news raised
hopes that the government's official
report Friday on last month's job
creation could be a blockbuster.
While there were reasons to
doubt the numbers, the report from
Automatic Data Processing, and
another showing strength in the
nation's service industries, reversed
what was shaping up to be an ugly
day on Wall Street.It also generated
optimism that the unemployment
rate might finally start to fall.
* Some economists expressed,
skepticism about ADP's monthly
figures because they often don't
track the official government
employment data. Others said
that the report's estimate of job
gains was so high that it at least
reinforced evidence that hiring is
picking up as employers gain more
Diane Swonk, chief economist
at Mesirow Financial, says the
ADP numbers suggest the Bureau
of Labor Statistics could report
Friday that the economy created
more than 300,000 jobs last month.
Economists have been predicting
fewer than half as many -145,000.
It takes about 125,000 new jobs
a month just to keep up with popu-
lation growth and hold the unem-
ployment rate - now 9.8 percent
- stable. It takes up to 300,000 new
jobs a month to reduce the unem-
ployment rate significantly, econo-
The report is just the latest
sign that the job market might be
turning around at last. The Labor
Department said last week that
the number of people applying for
unemployment benefits has fallen
to its lowest point in two and a half
years. The staffing firm Challenger,
Gray & Christmas said Wednesday
that layoffs fell last month to the
lowest level since June 2000.
And big companies, which have
been slow to commit to hiring full-
time workers, are starting to do so
again. Discount retailer Dollar Gen-
eral this week said it plans to hire
more than 6,000 workers in 2011.
Union Pacific, the nation's larg-
est railroad, plans to replace 4,000
workers - about 10 percent of its
total staff - who are set to retire
in 2011. It's also recalling some
employees who were furloughed
during the recession.
Economists had expected the
ADP numbers, the first major
snapshot of hiring in December, to
show that private employers added
100,000 jobs last month. The actual
figure, 297,000, was"aboltfromthe
blue," says Ian Shepherdson, chief
U.S. economist at High Frequency
In part because of that powerful
number, the Dow Jones industrial
average edged higher for the third
day in a row. The Dow closed up
nearly 32 points, or about 0.3 per-
cent, and broader stock averages
posted larger gains. Before the ADP
issued its report, futures markets
had suggested the Dow was headed
for a steep loss.
Yet many economists are uncon-
vinced by the ADP report. Zach
Pandl of Nomura Securities says
the report has a "spotty track
record" in aiming to predict what
the official government numbers
From Page 5A
difference between public urina-
tion and indecent exposure.
"Typically, urinating in public is
tion," Brown said. "Indecent expo-
sure is exposing yourself for other
LSA senior Daniel Kohn said he
wouldn't want to urinate in public
and risk being seen.
"I just don't want to be a sex
offender," Kohn said. "You can
wait to go to the bathroom; it's
they're kind of a big deal.
CLOSE TO U OF M
' /1\ 111TT1
RELEASE DATE- Thursday, January 6, 2011
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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