Energy Initiatives

The initiatives below show our strategies derived from our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already accomplished. See pages 35-40 in the SAP for more details.


What We're Working On

  • Energy Conservation
      1. Set temperature of non-EMS buildings to established summer and winter ranges
      2. Develop and implement a marketing and engagement strategy for the Energy Conservation Policy
      3. Develop and install default wallpaper for all classroom computers to remind users to turn off projectors
      4. Communicate new Crash Plan backup schedule to employees
      5. Create a new student energy reduction initiative (in wood frames and program houses) using social marketing
      6. Launch social marketing campaign to reduce open windows in winter
      7. Evaluate feasibility of real-time energy meters for wood frame houses
      8. Reduce water heating demand in student housing
      9. Publicize energy-related information and accomplishments to the campus community
      10. Develop a Utilities website
      11. Provide access to energy data via the Utilities website
  • Energy Efficiency
      1. Install Network Thermostats in remaining wood frame houses
      2. Remove window air conditioner units annually from applicable buildings
      3. Make building envelope improvements in additional wood frame houses
      4. Develop a method of incorporating the Social Cost of Carbon into projects
  • Energy Sourcing
      1. Install a PV system at Long Lane
      2. Analyze the Center for the Arts as a potential location for geothermal
      3. Investigate the feasibility of a “solar rover” to power events
      4. Pilot one campus building with B100 bioheat made from used cooking oils

What We've Done

  • Energy Conservation
      1. Since 2013, in partnership with Wes to Wes, all residential energy savings have gone directly to the financial aid raise the cap fund.  From 2007-2014, the Sustainability Interns ran Do It in the Dark (DIITD), an energy competition between student residences.  
      2. In 2012-13, Professor Mary Alice Haddad led a team of students to create a campus Eco-Map.  The Eco-Map highlights changes in energy usage in different buildings on campus over time and is designed to encourage energy conservation behaviors.  
      3. To promote environmental, financial, and social sustainability, Wesleyan adopted an Energy Conservation Policy in 2014.  This policy establishes temperature ranges in all campus buildings that conserve energy while promoting comfort.  

  • Energy Efficiency
      1. Since 2005, Wesleyan has completed energy efficiency and conservation improvements through annual projects, including:
        • Passive infrared occupancy sensors in most campus buildings
        • Photo/occupancy sensors, which sense both movement and ambient light in all Foss Hill dorms

        • Lighting improvements (LEDs, some efficient fluorescents) in about half of parking and outdoor lighting, as well as lighting in many indoor locations

        • Electrical, steam, and chilled water meters installed at WestCo, Hewitt, Nics, Bennet, Fauver, Butterfields, Clark, Hi/Lo Rise, and Malcolm X, enabling building-level measurement

        • Envelope improvements (attic/wall insulation)

        • Window replacements (full windows and storm windows)

        • HVAC replacements, switching from bulidings from oil to gas

        • Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to reduce electrical motor consumption of air handlers and hot water pumps

        • New lab exhaust fans
      2. An energy management system monitors and manages energy consumption.  Most buildings are equipped with the capability to set back temperatures at night and on weekends. 
      3. From 2010 to 2012, ITS worked with Verdiem, a power management company, to analyze PC energy consumption to find opportunities for energy savings.  Based on Verdiem's findings, Wesleyan has saved over $15,000 annually.
      4. In 2011-12, all of Wesleyan's woodframe residences and administrative offices located in former houses had energy assessments through Energize Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions program.  Over 100 faculty and staff also took advantage of this program.  Houses added to Wesleyan's portfolio since the original assessments were assessed in Summer 2015.
  • Energy Sourcing
      1. Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are located at Freeman Athletic Center (200 kW, installed 2012), 19 Fountain Avenue (7.2 kW, installed 2008), and Admissions (3 kW, installed 2008).
      2. Natural gas cogeneration systems are located at the Central Power Plant (2.4 MW, installed 2009) and Freeman Athletic Center (676 kW, installed 2014).  These installations together form the first microgrid within Connecticut.
      3. In Fall 2013, Wesleyan began purchasing B20 biofuel (80% #2 oil, 20% recycled cooking oil) from Portland-based Hale Hill Biofuels for campus buildings run on oil.  Biofuel replaces all Wesleyan's oil purchases and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 200 tons annually.
      4. In 2015, Wesleyan was one of six Connecticut schools participating in Solarize U, a solar discount program run by the state.   Through the installation of solar panels on employee and alumni homes, this program gave Wesleyan community members the opportunity to reduce monthly electric bills and carbon footprints. 
Jeff Murphy, Facilities Business Manager and SAGES Energy Subcommittee Chair
(860) 685-3769