Sustainable Clark

Consumption of Electricity

Benchmarks

Total electricity consumed in million kilowatt hours

Electricity consumption per square foot of campus buildings

Background

Most electricity in the United States is generated from fossil fuel-based power plants. The burning of coal and natural gas to generate electricity produces greenhouse gas emissions and also generates significant air pollutants, such as particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Electricity used at Clark University is purchased through National Grid, or generated by the 2000 kW generator in the cogeneration plant. By reducing our consumption of electricity we both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, and save money.

Electricity on campus is used for lighting; heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); computing; refrigeration; lab equipment and general-purpose use.

Improvements

A commitment to continual efficiency upgrading impacts our electrical energy use. Upgrades to lighting technology, the addition of occupancy (motion) sensors, improved variable frequency drive motors, exterior and interior LED's are a few examples of recent electrical energy upgrades. Steam heat has replaced electric heat in several buildings, while use of space allows for greater lighting efficiency. Newly purchased equipment and appliances are Energy Star rated where applicable. All new Clark computer and copy equipment comes programmed for sleep mode. Managed programs of regular maintenance on refrigeration and other high-volume equipment improve our operating efficiency. Clark continues to explore both technology, strategies for efficiency, and usage patterns to conserve energy.

However, no amount of technology can substitute for appropriate human behavior in conservation strategies. Turn off lights when you leave a space - unplug all appliances, chargers and equipment when not in use - close fume hoods - follow appropriate guidelines for computers in sleep mode - de-bulb unnecessary overhead lighting or better yet use a desk lamp. You have the power!