Energy literally powers most everything we do on campus, it also has serious impacts on our environment based on how we use it and its source. At Saint Michael’s, we do our best to minimize the impact of our energy choices.
Since 2015, the college has been focusing on renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels. Across campus off of Lime Kiln road, the college’s solar array collects power from the sun and produces about 270,000 kWh annually. The campus also utilizes geothermal energy pumps to heat and cool our newest buildings on campus (see below).
Since 2001, the college has worked closely with Efficiency Vermont to identify opportunities to reduce energy demands via more efficiency lighting and technology. To date, thanks to our partnership with Efficiency Vermont, the college has saved over 3.1 million kWh annually of electricity! Below are some examples of how we have accomplished this (thanks in part to the expertise in our Electric Shop):
- During the summer of 2008, “Super” T8 lamps were placed in all the light fixtures in the North Campus Residence Halls and the 4 Physical Plant maintenance shops (these Super T8 lamp and ballast systems provide up to 20% energy savings and a longer lamp life than the standard T8s)
- 100 52-watt incandescent lights were replaced with 14-watt Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) outside all the Townhouses
- The Ross globe lights in the lobby were replaced with 42-watt CFLs (they were originally 150-watt lights)
- 100 bathroom exhaust fans were changed from non-energy star to Energy Star fans. Additionally, the 52-watt bulbs associated with the fans were replaced with 18-watt CFL bulbs, using 60% less energy!
- The lights over the fireplace in Alliot have been replaced with 18 light-emitting-dioide (LED) dimmable lights, with a 20 year life-span and 90% increase in efficiency
- The men’s bathroom in Ross now has 6 LED light fixtures
- Lights in parking lots on campus have been converted to LEDs
- 3-Degree Challenge: During winter break, temperatures in Residence Halls and Academic Buildings are lowered within a target range of between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit to conserve on energy while buildings are unoccupied.
- Information Technology: Did you know that the folks in our IT department are very energy aware?! All IT purchased equipment is either Silver or Gold EPEAT rated (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) – this assessment looks at energy usage but also product sourcing
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.
SMC’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Each year the Office of Sustainability updates the college’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (which tracks Scopes 1 & 2 emissions). Here is a snapshot of our current inventory (update to include Fiscal Year 2016 underway!). You’ll see that the College has reduced its carbon emissions by 28% since 2003. This is significant as we’ve added 6 buildings over this time period!