The campus Energy Manager Nathan Holder and Energy Fellow Betsy Matthews have been leading the campus toward developing an Energy and Water Conservation Program. Supported by the Energy Team, a group that includes Business & Finance, Facilities Services and Sustainability, the mission statement for the program has been defined as, “Meredith College’s energy and water conservation program leads the campus in conserving resources, implementing efficient technologies, and moving towards a renewable energy future.”
Priorities for energy and water conservation at Meredith have been defined to include:
Highlights from the work done during spring and summer include:
Energy Audit completed: Jacobs Engineering surveyed high-use campus buildings (a total of 867,979 square feet), identified and proposed energy and water conservation measures and quantified cost avoidance associated. If implemented, the conservation measures would provide a 29% reduction in electrical usage and a 16% reduction in campus water usage. Combined these conservation measures represent a 21% reduction in natural gas usage. The recommended measures have an estimated annual cost avoidance of $542,029 and implementation cost of $2,654,821 to $3,584,009 (depending on the implementation method), totaling a five to seven year payback.
Research: Holder and Matthews have extensively researched energy management programs at other colleges and universities and have been learning from vendors about products that would support the program well. Western Carolina and NCSU both have good management programs that serve as models as Meredith College develops its own.
Data analysis: The team has been compiling and closely analyzing the past three fiscal years of energy and water data. Every year Meredith College uses about 120,000,000 kBTUs of energy (about 1500 times the energy use of an average household) and utility costs average $1.9 million each year.
Infrastructure updates: As Facilities Services continues to make efficiency improvements across campus, the energy program is tracking and quantifying resources conserved and dollars saved associated with these updates. Notable recent improvements include
Student outreach: Matthews’work as Energy Fellow includes student outreach. She accompanied six students to PowerShift, an energy education and action conference in Washington, DC in April 2011 and has been working with students on campus and in the residence halls to bring attention and awareness to energy conservation.
Contact Nathan Holder with additional questions or comments at email@example.com, (919) 412-3671.
The Energy Manager and Energy Fellow positions and the energy audit are supported by grant funding totaling $178,586 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Graphic representations of the past three years of utility data compiled here. Usage and costs vary due to weather, gas and electricity prices, efficiency upgrades by Facilities Services, behavior changes by the community and student enrollment.
Footnote: The increase in water usage in FY10- 11 over FY09-10 shown in the above graph is the result of installation of a new water meter by the City of Raleigh that corrected water usage readings
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Have you presented research or attended a professional meeting recently? Has your department earned an award? Share news of these accomplishments and more with the Meredith community. Faculty and staff are invited to email items to Melyssa Allen, “Campus Connections” editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.