Energy Use & Efficiency
Solar Energy Installation
In late 2009, solar panels were mounted on the roof of the Campus Center to produce clean energy and reduce the college's operating costs while lowering carbon emissions. Throughout the next 20 years, the system is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 238 metric tons, which is equivalent to the carbon that would be removed by planting 215 acres of trees.
The Co-gen Project
Cogeneration, also called Combined Heat and Power (CHP), is an efficient, clean and reliable approach to generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. By installing a cogeneration system designed to meet the thermal and electrical base loads of our campus, Smith College is increasing operational efficiency and decreasing energy costs, while significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
In June 2005, the college hired local contractor KLM to begin replacing missing or damaged insulation on steam pipes in the tunnels and manholes. Pipe covering had been removed during servicing or by weather and age. Estimated savings are 3,400 million BTU, $18,600, and 275 tons of CO2 per year.
Smith has initiated a building-metering program. Research shows that when people have real-time indicators of how much energy they use, they use less. Smith is working to meter as many buildings as possible. Advanced metering will allow consumption of water, electricity, steam (heat), gas (hot water and kitchens) and chilled water (cooling) to be instantly displayed on a building "dashboard."
Seeing this information in real-time and observing past trends has a significant impact on managing resource use and will allow Smith to do things such as house-to-house competitions for those who have the lowest resource use. Dashboard information will also show Facilities Management which buildings have the best potential for energy efficiency upgrades and allow them to monitor and verify those upgrades.