The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology and other areas to serve the nation and world. Based in Cambridge, MIT's commitment to innovation has led to a host of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances, and the Institute is presently engaged in a major effort to address global climate and energy challenges.
In May 2010, MIT established MIT Efficiency Forward, a groundbreaking collaborative energy conservation and efficiency program with NSTAR. The program is investing nearly $14 million over the next three years, with an innovative funding strategy that leverages funds from MIT, NSTAR incentive payments and reinvestment of energy savings.
Efficiency Forward includes a campus-wide lighting retrofit project that aims to reduce fan energy in dorm rooms by 40 percent. Also, buildings including the new Sloan School of Management incorporate innovative heat-recovery strategies, high-efficiency building envelopes and heating and cooling methods that significantly reduce energy consumption. In its first year, results from the program have surpassed expectations. The total savings was nearly 13 million kWh – almost 3 million kWh higher than anticipated. MIT has committed to a goal of reducing annual electrical use on campus by 34 million kWh within three years – equivalent to 15 percent of MIT’s current electrical use. The total savings over the lifetime of the efficiency measures is estimated in excess of $50 million.
To keep faculty, staff and students involved, MIT has created a Sustainability Group, consisting of personnel from its Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety departments. The next phase will include projects focusing on demand control ventilation, compressed air, vacuum systems, data-based commissioning and additional fume hood face-velocity reduction.
MIT and NSTAR designed Efficiency Forward as a new model for utility efficiency programs to support the Massachusetts Green Communities Act. The program is playing a vital role in helping to make energy efficiency Massachusetts’s “first fuel.” NSTAR maintains this innovative partnership as a model for other universities to follow.