Consumption of Electricity
Total electricity consumed in million kilowatt hours
Electricity consumption per square foot of campus buildings
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 1,600 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 mostly used for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), computing, refrigeration and general-purpose use. Clark does not have extensive metering built into its electrical infrastructure, so detailed information at this time, is impossible to generate.
Electricity consumption at Clark has gone up and down. In 2004 the main campus consumed a total of 11.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity. In 2005, electricity consumption increased to 12.0 million kilowatt hours (an increase of 5.0 percent), before falling back to 11.7 million kilowatt hours in 2006 (a decrease of 2.5 percent).
In 2004 we consumed 9.27 kilowatt hours of electricity per square foot of campus buildings. In 2005 this electricity consumption increased slightly to 9.29 kilowatt hours per square foot (an increase of 0.3 percent) and then was reduced to 9.06 kilowatt hours per square foot in 2006 (a decrease of 2.5 percent).
Many electricity savings initiatives are already impacting our energy efficiency. We have introduced the newest generation of energy efficient lighting in Wright Hall, the Kneller Center, the Higgins Dining Room, IDCE House, Math/Physics, the Lasry Center for Bioscience, Blackstone Hall, and many of the other buildings on campus.
Replacement of electric heat in a section of the Geography building with hot water fed from the cogeneration plant will lower electricity consumption. Replacing the fan motors for the Goddard Library HVAC system with variable frequency drives will also contribute to the cogeneration plant's overall efficiency by allowing the generator to follow campus load rather than maintain a 250 kW reserve so the fans may be cycled on and off.