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:

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 was 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.
    4. A new employee computer backup system and communication now means that nearly all employees can turn off computers each night. 
    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.  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. 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. 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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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. 
    6. A solar rover for powering events was designed and built by the Sustainability Coordinators, and launched for outdoor campus events in Fall 2020. 


Andrew Plotkin, Project Engineer