Over time, there have been multiple resources to measure and analyze OSU energy and water use. Historically, outside consultants had been the primary mechanism by which in depth analyses were accomplished. For around five years starting in 2007, the Sustainability Office also provided building end users energy audit services with a short series of recommendations to operate more efficiently in OSU buildings. These types of occupant action-based recommendations could be taken without major changes to building systems. Today, these types of recommendations fall under the Sustainability Office's green certification programs for offices, labs, Greek houses and other spaces. 

In addition to outside consulting firms, the OSU Energy Efficiency Center has provided more in depth analyses of OSU infrastructure. 

Assessment Provider Systems Analyzed Available To Cost
OSU Sustainability Office Occupant-controlled systems: lighting, computers, lab equipment, etc. as part of a green certification application All, general funded buildings first priority None
OSU Energy Efficiency Center Building systems (lighting, HVAC) and industrial equipment All Minimal
Professional Consultants Building systems (lighting, HVAC, water, etc.) Typically connected to a construction project Varies

Campus Night Audits

For several years, the Sustainability Office assessed off-hours energy use in campus buildings to understand the potential savings from advocating that building occupants turn off lights and other equipment, close shades and windows, and take other actions. As part of various academic class projects, students worked with Sustainability Office team members to perform unannounced night audits several times each quarter. During a night audit, buildings were thoroughly examined during predominantly unoccupied times to find potential energy waste. 

Audits measured losses from unnecessarily active electrical equipment like lighting, computers and peripherals, copiers, printers, and chargers, as well as thermal losses like open windows. Losses were totaled and potential savings estimated. Data gathered during the audits can be used to assess the impact of conservation efforts, justify additional conservation projects, as well as report potentially unsafe conditions (low light levels, fire hazards, etc.).  A summary of night audit results is presented in the table to the right.

Night Audits Results

Term Surveyed Buildings Surveyed

Est. Annual Waste (total, across all buildings)

    Lighting Computers & peripherals Copiers & Printers Other Elec. equipment
Winter 2010 Bexell, Milam, Women's Building, Wilkinson, Moreland $4,000 $11,600 $1,500 $400
Spring 2010 Bexell, Gilkey, Strand Ag, Ballard Extension, Wilkinson, Burt, Gilmore