Energy & Climate
Meredith College is jump-starting its energy management program with a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Foundation. The $148,000 grant funds a comprehensive energy audit to identify energy conservation measures campus-wide, partially funds an energy manager position to oversee the College’s energy conservation initiatives, and supports the installation of a sub-metering system to record electric consumption and demand for select campus buildings.
The energy audit is a comprehensive analysis of the College’s energy usage, and shapes recommendations for a wide range of energy conservation measures. Potential conservation measures include energy control systems, lighting and electrical equipment and system retrofits, utility infrastructure improvements and energy management strategies.
These efforts will result in real energy savings, reduce the College’s carbon footprint and help engage the Meredith community in sustainability initiatives.
Students in the Geology 326: Environmental Resources course taught by Assistant Professor of Geoscience Matthew Stutz calculated Meredith’s carbon footprint. The students shared their findings with the campus community including objectives of the research, background on climate change, methodology of the research and their findings.
Using the Clean Air-Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator, the students determined the College is responsible for 16,003 metric tons of carbon emissions. The majority of these emissions come from the College’s energy use. Other areas of concern are emissions caused by commuter travel and use of Meredith-owned vehicles.
Some of the students’ recommendations are supported through the energy management, including better monitoring of energy use and improving building efficiency. The students of GEO326, Environmental Resources, invite you to view the summary of the project.
Facilities Services approaches each project or maintenance issue from the perspective of what is the most sustainable solution and its effect, also known as the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line approach considers three areas of impact: economical—impact of cost, environmental-impact on the planet, and social-impact on the community. This process allows Facilities Services to make the right decisions for the right reasons.
- All florescent bulbs that are replaced on campus are replaced with low impact bulbs which have less mercury than their predecessor.
- A “Bulb Eater” is used to dispose of fluorescent lamps. This system crushes and stores the bulbs, and the associated mercury in a HEPA filtered container, which is then picked up and disposed of as hazardous waste. This system keeps all of the toxic mercury out of the landfills and away from people.
- Gas-powered golf carts in use on Meredith’s campus are being replaced by electric carts. Meredith currently has six gas-powered golf carts in the campus fleet of 37.