Wesleyan University’s Energy Efficiency Efforts Save $480,000 Annually

(Photo: Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Credit: Larry Miller, Flickr Creative Commons)

Wesleyan University and Connecticut utility Eversource recently started a new energy-efficiency partnership aimed at reducing energy costs. Since 2014, energy efficiency efforts completed at the private, non-sectarian liberal arts university have reduced energy costs by approximately $480,000 a year, Eversource says.

Besides those cost savings, the utility estimates that energy efficiency work completed across the campus over the past two years has saved the school almost 4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, and resulted in annual carbon reductions of nearly 262 tons.

Upgrades include installing new energy-efficient LED lighting systems at the university’s state-of-the-art Freeman Athletic Center. These systems lower maintenance costs and provide a better environment with minimal glare for players and spectators, according to the school.

Eversource and Wesleyan University noted that these lighting systems use up to 75% less electricity and feature dimming and remote-control capabilities as well as smart motion-detecting controls that can be scheduled to turn off lights when no one is present, sharply reducing electricity usage throughout a 259,104-square-foot facility.

Previously, Wesleyan replaced the HVAC in its Center For the Arts Rehearsal Hall in 2013 and added solar power to an onsite microgrid in 2015.

The new strategic partnership between the university and Eversource supports a three-year energy-efficiency plan that is expected to save an additional 3.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. It includes energy saving upgrades in the Spurrier-Snyder Rink and Exley Science Center Data Center. In addition, the plan supports Wesleyan University’s energy goals and Climate Action Plan aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The work and our partnership with Eversource is vitally important to helping us reduce our impact on the environment and keep operating costs down,” said Michael Roth, the university’s president. “It is also in line with our mission to think critically and act creatively to solve challenges.

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