Among many efficiency projects, laboratories in the College’s science building were recently reprogrammed to correct a history of negative pressure issues that wasted energy and even made it difficult to open building doors. Now, each room’s occupancy sensor enables the rooms to go into standby mode when unoccupied. Economizer control and demand control ventilation were added in other areas of the building. This saves a lot of energy—not to mention elbow grease, as doors now open easily.
This is just one example of the College’s expansive efficiency efforts. Since 2012, Stonehill has also:
- Replaced showerheads and sink faucet aerators with low-flow fixtures in all residence halls and athletic facilities.
- Added direct digital controls (DDC) to air handlers, variable air volumes (VAVs) and chilled water systems.
- Installed economizers and demand control ventilation in dining rooms.
Currently, the College is replacing approximately 400 exterior lights with more energy-efficient fixtures. Indicative of the College’s commitment to renewable energy, several Stonehill roofs are now solar, with three solar parking lot canopies expected to be added this fall. With these additions, nearly 60 percent of the College’s electrical consumption will come from solar energy by the end of this year.
In just the past three years, efficiency initiatives have saved the College more than 1.4 million kWh annually, as well as nearly $175,000 in yearly energy costs.
These initiatives are part of Stonehill’s Sustainability Plan, an ambitious project that aims for a 20 percent reduction in energy usage by 2018. Each year, approximately $200,000 is allocated for energy conservation projects, with an additional $10,000 set aside for student-related sustainability initiatives.
Through financial incentives, technical assistance, and project management, National Grid has played a vital role in Stonehill’s efficiency success, and will continue working with the College on future initiatives.
An ongoing commitment is a given for Stonehill, an educational institution that considers energy efficiency to be both cultural and spiritual. Three years ago, on Earth Day, Stonehill College President, Rev. Mark T. Cregan, CSC, made Stonehill the 12th Catholic college to sign the St. Francis Pledge, a commitment that asks Catholics to live their faith by protecting the planet, and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
As impressive as Stonehill’s efficiency results are, that’s not the College’s biggest source of pride. That comes from the students, who will one day develop the social, economic, and technological solutions that improve sustainability and justice throughout our world.
|Annual Energy Savings (kwh/yr):||1,400,802|
|Total Savings ($):||174,427|
|Total Project Cost ($):||631,718|
|Incentive Dollars ($):||225,082|
|Customer Cost ($):||406,636|
|Simple Payback (yrs):||2.3|