The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Saturday, March 2, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel


In response to Jason Sutton’s letter “No time like the present to push for energy reform” (Oct. 15). As much as I love sarcasm, it’s often good to back up your humor with substantial facts.

Make no mistake, clean energy advocates are aware of the expenses associated with cleaner fuel sources.

Times are tough. Investing in new energy infrastructure may not seem the best thing to do right now.

Building the infrastructure at UNC’s Cogeneration Facility creates more jobs. More jobs lead to more disposable income, disposable income leads to increased liquidity, which makes the banking system happy, and our country could do with happier banks nowadays. Investment is still investment, and yes, that costs money.

Does the University have that income? Picture this: Next time you walk by the dorm lounge on the way to your 8 a.m. class, shut off the lights.

Assume you’re shutting off four 20 watt bulbs (an underestimate for sure). That’s 80 watts per hour per floor per dorm.

Thirty-two dorms with an average of about four floors means 10 kilowatts per hour. One kilowatt hour requires about a pound of coal. Those lights probably won’t be turned back on until 10 hours later. Let’s say our coal costs 80 cents a pound: 200 days out of the year, that saves $16,000 dollars a year.

And that’s with a flip of a switch. Jason’s right, the debate is over.

Andrew Heil
Italian and International Studies

Ashley Gunsteens
Communication Studies and Dramatic Art

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.