Efficiency Projects

Through the college's partnership with Efficiency Vermont that began in 2001, Saint Michael's has been able to complete a number of energy efficiency projects (47 projects as of December 2010), many of which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. These projects include improvements to lighting, HVAC, refrigeration systems and installation of motion sensors throughout campus buildings. Just a few examples of projects include:

  • Cheray Hall: fluorescent and light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures are connected to dimmers and occupancy sensors to appropriately light classroom spaces, saving 24,880 kWh annually
  • Alliot Hall: installaion of an efficienct motor and addition of an economizer control device has allowed Saint Michael's to use outside air to refrigerate a walk-in cooler during the winter months (temps below 40 F). This has reduced energy usage by 19,600 kWh annually
  • McCarthy Arts Center: When it came time to replace the air handlers, originally installed in 1975, the college decided to vastly improve the energy efficiency of the entire HVAC system. The new system provides more effective and efficient ventilation, cooling with outside air, and energy efficiency lighting and motors. The project reduces energy consumption by 390,920 kWh annually

The HVAC Department has upgraded boilers in several campus buildings, which has significantly reduced fuel oil consumption. They are currently in the process of upgrading building management systems for better control, installing more efficient pumps and motors, and Energy-Star certified speed drives, both of which improve HVAC efficiency. A web-based Energy Management tool allows HVAC staff to closely monitor building performance and keep systems running as efficient as possible.

Light Bulb Exchange Program

Standard light bulbs are being replaced with energy efficent (compact flourescent) light bulbs on a voluntary basis throughout the Saint Michael's College community (staff, faculty and students). If you are a student and would like to exchange an old standard light bulb with a CFL, contact . If you are a staff or faculty member and would like to exchange a bulb, contact This program, so far, has resulted in the exchange of 643 CFL bulbs! (7/08).

If your CFL bulb burns out, please do not throw them in the regular trash, as they contain mercury they must be disposed of separately. Please place a work order for them to be picked up.

3 Degree Challenge

Temperatures in Residence Halls and Academic Buildings will continue to be lowered within a target range of between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (for heating policy during the cold Vermont winters).

Information Technology

IT purchases only Energy Star-certified computers and monitors. Desktop printers are being phased out and replaced with Energy Star certified department printers to reduce energy consumption. IT operates only Energy Star certified servers and uses a service from VMWare to consolidate servers on a single device, which has allowed the department to consolidate its server hardware by 90 percent.

Green Computing Tips

Please remember to turn off your computers/laptops when you are not using them for a long period of time (especially when you leave work for the day/go to sleep). Unplugging them saves even more energy!

A common misconception is the belief that computers and monitors purchased with the Energy Star logo are already energy efficient. In reality, they have been built-in energy conservation features BUT your computer/laptop cannot take full advantage of these built in energy savings mechanisms until the power management features are enabled and configured.

The EPA has estimated that providing computers with sleep mode reduces their energy use by 60-70% -- and ultimately could save enough electricity each year to power Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and cut electric bills by $2 billion, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 5 million cars! Go to your power management features and make sure sleep mode is enabled. Also, make sure your monitor turns off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Carbon Footprint

During the summer of 2011, Office of Sustainability Intern Jennifer Kleindienst and Sustainability Coordinator Heather Ellis are working to complete the college's first comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report. The report will be looking at historical data from Fiscal Year 2003 to 2010, and each additional year the report will be updated. This report will act as a snapshot of the college's impact (in terms of carbon emissions) on the environment and help the Office of Sustainability track the progress with each coming year.

Hit the Switch

Please remember to turn off all lights (and unplug them to reduce those pesky phantom loads) when you are not using them and are leaving the room. Also, if you enter a room that has its lights on and no one is around, get good karma by shutting them off!

Did You Know?

light bulb idea

Energy Star appliances reduce your carbon footprint by 4,920 lbs of carbon dioxide per year!

Installing just one Compact Fluorescent light bulb (CFL) reduces one's carbon footprint by 300 lbs a year.

Unplugging appliances reduces your carbon footprint by 800 lbs a year. Yes, unplugging appliances does make a difference, reducing those pesky phantom loads of electricity.

Screen savers may save your screens, but they do not save you any power, adding 1,090 lbs of carbon to your carbon footprint a year. A more efficient option is to put the computer and monitor into sleep mode (go to your computer's power management option) after 15 minutes of inactivity. This will use up to 70% less power. FYI, even if your computer is energy star, you still need to enable these power management features.

You can save an extra 970 lbs of carbon dioxide a year just by remembering to turn off your lights when you leave the room.

Taken from "The Environmental Equation," by Alex Shimo-Barry, 2008