A collaborative college initiative that was started four years ago is now on track to save more than $1 million in annual energy costs for Clark University, College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. SynergE Worcester, a program that was developed by the three colleges in conjunction with National Grid and GreenerU, is well on its way to bringing about $5 million to $6 million in energy savings over the next five years as well as significantly reducing the colleges’ greenhouse gas emissions.
The three colleges have jointly invested more than $6.2 million in energy efficiency upgrades to date through SynergE Worcester, assisted by National Grid’s incentive program that was designed for the initiative to encourage the installation of energy conservation and carbon reduction measures. In addition to energy efficiency improvements, the program includes comprehensive monitoring of electric use in 66 college buildings, and utilized innovative sustainability campaigns involving behavior change and campus engagement for students, faculty and staff.
“National Grid has a long history of working with the city of Worcester and its colleges and universities through our award-winning energy efficiency programs,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. “SynergE Worcester has provided a great opportunity to try new ways of saving energy on the Clark, Holy Cross and WPI campuses, often utilizing comprehensive, building-wide energy efficiency approaches.”
“When we started this initiative four years ago we wanted to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions as well as provide an opportunity for our students to be involved in an exciting and relevant sustainability project. Through SynergE Worcester’s Tri-Campus Council and the program’s campus engagement, behavior change and sustainability components, the project has provided that opportunity.” ~ David Angel, President of Clark University
“SynergE Worcester’s and National Grid’s emphasis on comprehensive energy efficiency has paid off for our university,” declared Jeff Solomon, Executive VP/CFO at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. “Our Gateway Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center has been a big energy saving success, with a 33% reduction in electricity use through laboratory ventilation upgrades, the addition of cogeneration, lighting upgrades, and behavior change campaigns.”
“Our students developed some very creative sustainability and behavior change projects which enhanced the sustainability culture on our campus while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions,” said Scott Merrill, Chief Facilities Officer at Holy Cross. “We also appreciated the program’s emphasis on extensive, ongoing building monitoring in which electricity use is tracked in key buildings. Monitoring is being carried out in 29 buildings on our campus, providing benchmarking and insight into building operations.”
GreenerU initially developed SynergE Worcester in collaboration with National Grid, Clark, Holy Cross and WPI. “A distinctive aspect of the program is that we integrated energy efficiency measures with campus-wide behavior change and stakeholder engagement, including the students,” said Kailash Viswanathan, GreenerU’s Vice President of Operations. “This approach results in greater energy cost savings, provides learning opportunities for the campus community regarding energy efficiency, and demonstrates the colleges’ commitment to environmental stewardship. The schools are often able to address deferred maintenance issues as well.”
SynergE Worcester will continue to the end of 2015, so the program participants hope that additional energy savings will result from the installation of further efficiency measures. In addition to the $5 to $6 million in energy savings over the next five years for the three colleges, it is expected that the SynergE Worcester program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22,300 metric tons, the equivalent of what would be released through the burning of 24,000 tons of coal.
About Clark University
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.
About College of the Holy Cross
The College of the Holy Cross (www.holycross.edu), located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is among the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions. A highly selective, four-year, exclusively undergraduate college of 2,900 students, Holy Cross is renowned for offering a rigorous, personalized education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Since its founding in 1843, Holy Cross has made a positive impact in society by graduating students who distinguish themselves as thoughtful leaders in business, professional and civic life.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information please visit our website www.nationalgridus.com.
Founded in 2009, GreenerU is a leading provider of energy solutions and services to the higher education marketplace. Through its core technical capabilities and its unique, integrated behavioral change management approach, GreenerU helps colleges and universities save energy, update infrastructure, reduce deferred maintenance, and engage stakeholders to help institutions meet their sustainability goals. Using a best-in-class integrated offering approach to serve the specialized needs of its higher education clients, the Company delivers lasting, high-value solutions to a client base with complex challenges and significant needs. Learn more at www.GreenerU.com.
For more information, contact Annie Lissandrello, Annie.L@GreenerU.com or 781-891-3750.