So heres a pretty good indication of just how vast the University of North Carolina system is. By going to LED lighting from the Durham-based Cree company, the 17-campus system will cut energy consumption by at least $25 million over seven years.
The figure is not exact, but Johnson Controls, an energy services company, will do an audit of millions of square feet of UNC space and then run the numbers. There is no question that savings will be considerable. Cree, a groundbreaking company, makes lighting with life spans of ... well, some true believers say you can turn them on and never turn them off.
Taxpayers who support their UNC system will benefit, obviously, and its good to have the business going to a home state company.
But energy consumption isnt just a concern on the minds of those in the academy. All around us, from personal kitchens to workplaces, theres increasing evidence that average consumers are ever more mindful of the need to conserve. Thats not good news just in Chapel Hill or Pembroke or Asheville. That message can circle Planet Earth.