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

The initiatives below show what we plan to do via our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already done. See pages 35-40 in the SAP for more details.


What We're Working On

  • Energy Conservation
    1. 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.  
    2. Set temperature of non-EMS buildings to established summer and winter ranges - ongoing via installation of Nest thermostats
    3. Develop and implement a marketing and engagement strategy for the Energy Conservation Policy - ongoing through the Green Office Certification program and employee sustainability professional development workshops
    4. Communicate new Crash Plan backup schedule to employees - complete via ITS
    5. Create a new student energy reduction initiative (in wood frames and program houses) using social marketing - currently working on Nest training, will resume in Fall 2020
    6. Launch social marketing campaign to reduce open windows in winter - complete
    7. Evaluate feasibility of real-time energy meters for wood frame houses - not pursuing due to cost
    8. Reduce water heating demand in student housing - not yet started
    9. Publicize energy-related information and accomplishments to the campus community - not yet started
    10. Develop a Utilities website - not yet started
    11. Provide access to energy data via the Utilities website - not yet started
  • Energy Efficiency
    1. Install Nest or Network Thermostats in remaining wood frame houses - ongoing
    2. Remove window air conditioner units annually from applicable buildings - ongoing via work orders each fall
    3. Make building envelope improvements in additional wood frame houses - ongoing through Major Maintenance
    4. Develop a method of incorporating the Social Cost of Carbon into projects - no longer pursuing; opted instead to develop a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) form for specific Facilities projects to reach the same ends.
  • Energy Sourcing
    1. Analyze the Center for the Arts as a potential location for geothermal - no longer pursuing, but campus-wide geothermal installation is being considered as a part of the 2020 utilities carbon neutrality master plan
    2. Pilot one campus building with B100 bioheat made from used cooking oils - no longer pursuing, as Wesleyan's oil vendor no longer offers a B100 blend

What We've Done

  • Energy Conservation
    1. Since 2013, residential energy savings have gone directly to the financial aid raise the cap fund.
    2. From 2007-2014, the Sustainability Interns ran Do It in the Dark (DIITD), an energy competition between student residences. 
    3. 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.  
    4. 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 was included in the Green Office Certification.
    5. Default wallpaper was developed and installed in all classroom computers to remind users to turn off projectors while not in use.
    6. Stickers are now in most classrooms reminding occupants to turn off projectors, turn down heat/AC, close windows, and turn off lights.  
    7. Stickers in dorms remind students to close windows in winter.


  • Energy Efficiency
    1. Since 2005, Wesleyan has completed energy efficiency and conservation improvements through annual projects, including:
      1. Passive infrared occupancy sensors in most campus buildings
      2. Photo/occupancy sensors, which sense both movement and ambient light in all Foss Hill dorms
      3. Lighting improvements (LEDs, some efficient fluorescents) in about half of parking and outdoor lighting, as well as lighting in many indoor locations
      4. 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
      5. Envelope improvements (attic/wall insulation)
      6. Window replacements (full windows and storm windows)
      7. HVAC replacements, switching from bulidings from oil to gas
      8. Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to reduce electrical motor consumption of air handlers and hot water pumps
      9. New lab exhaust fans
      10. A data center cooling project greatly reduces the energy consumption of Wesleyan's computing needs.
    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). A 750 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed on Long Lane to add renewable energy to New England's grid and prepare Wesleyan long-term for carbon neutrality.
    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. 
    5. A solar rover for powering events was designed and built by the Sustainability Coordinators, and will be in use in 2020.  


Jeff Murphy, Facilities Business Manager
(860) 685-3769