Emissions generated as a result of energy consumption (electricity, heating, and cooling) represent over 75% of Wesleyan's carbon pollution. To neutralize these emissions, we are working to:

What We've Done

  • Energy Conservation
    1. 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.  Compliance with the policy is included in the Green Office Certification.
    2. Nest thermostats have been installed in many campus buildings not connected to the campus microgrid, with plans for further installation.
    3. Each fall, offices with window air conditioner units can have these units covered and removed and stored to reduce air leakage during the winter for free via a Physical Plant work order.
    4. An employee daytime computer backup system means that nearly all employees can turn off computers each night. 
    5. Default wallpaper in all classroom computers reminds users to turn off projectors while not in use.
    6. Stickers are in most classrooms reminding occupants to turn off projectors, turn down heat/AC, close windows, and turn off lights.  
    7. ITS and Facilities redesigned and consolidated the campus data center to reduce the amount of cooling required.   
    8. ITS employs a cloud-first philosophy. Only services that require being on-premises for security, access, and/or cost considerations are in the data center. For those services on premises, ITS is heavily invested in virtualization technologies and consolidated storage solutions.  
  • Energy Efficiency
    1. Since 2005, Wesleyan has completed energy efficiency and conservation improvements through annual projects, including occupancy sensors, lighting improvements, energy metering, insulation, heating/cooling equipment replacements, and installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to reduce electrical motor consumption of air handlers and hot water pumps. 
    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. 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. Since 2018, 100% of electricity use on campus is supplied by renewable energy through the purchase of Green-E certified RECs (renewable energy credits).  2022 RECs were purchased via Next Grid Markets.
    2. utilities carbon neutrality master plan has created a roadmap for ways to reduce campus energy use and power 100% of heating, cooling, and electricity needs within the campus microgrid (central campus) through renewable energy sources. Wesleyan is investigating funding opportunities for this plan and for ways to expand these efforts to buildings not connected to the microgrid.  
    3. Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are located at Long Lane (750 kW, installed 2016), Freeman Athletic Center (200 kW, installed 2012), 19 Fountain Avenue (7.2 kW, installed 2008), and Admissions (3 kW, installed 2008) to add renewable energy to New England's grid and prepare Wesleyan long-term for carbon neutrality.  Another PV array will be installed at Neighborhood Preschool in 2023.
    4. 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.
    5. Since 2013, Wesleyan has purchased 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.
    6. 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. 
    7. A solar rover for powering events was designed and built by the Sustainability Coordinators, and launched for outdoor campus events in Fall 2020. 

Energy Conservation Policy

Wesleyan's Energy Conservation Policy, established in 2014, sets temperature ranges in all campus buildings to conserve energy while promoting comfort.  

Temperature Ranges

Temperature ranges for the energy conservation policy

Buildings without reheat

Buildings with reheat

All temperatures ± 2°F unless noted

Summer Occupied 75° 74°
Unoccupied 77° 69°
Winter Occupied 68° 70°
Unoccupied 65° (min.) 65° (min.)

Buildings with reheat have systems that cool down incoming air to dehumidify it and then reheat it to the desired temperature.  In these buildings, not reheating air saves energy, so these buildings have cooler summer temperatures than buildings without reheat.  Reheat buildings include Boger, Allbritton, Fisk, Olin, Usdan, Fayerweather, and the Science Library.

Night and weekend setbacks for administrative and academic spaces are set on a building-by-building basis to accommodate building schedules.  Temperatures will not be adjusted for individuals entering a building during unoccupied hours.

Comfort Suggestions

To maximize your personal comfort and energy efficiency:

  • Do not use a space heater unless it is needed to maintain temperatures within the ranges above.  A heating mat is more effective at keeping you warm with lower energy usage (up to 95% less energy than a space heater). Learn more about the energy savings of a heating mat.
  • Wear seasonally appropriate clothing and dress in layers.  Shorts will be permitted in the summer.
  • Keep furniture at least 6 inches from all thermostats and vents.  
  • Move computers, lamps, and other heat-generating equipment away from the thermostat.
  • Adjust blinds based on season and time of day.
  • Close windows and exterior and vestibule doors if heat or air conditioning is on.
  • Put down storm windows during the winter (if applicable).
  • Use table or floor fans for additional cooling.
  • Swap workspaces with a coworker.


Andrew Plotkin, Project Engineer