At Empire State College, we are always striving to conserve energy and have our buildings operate in the most efficient manner possible. Electricity use has been declining since the start of the sustainability program. Here are a few reasons why.
In 2014, the college started retro commissioning all of its owned and operated facilities. Retro commissioning is an activity that fine-tunes the buildings' heating, cooling, venting and lighting systems so they work more efficiently and operate at optimal performance. Starting in 2014 and continuing through 2015, engineers walked through the buildings at the college’s Coordinating Center at Saratoga Springs checking and measuring performance of the equipment and controls. In close consultation with the facilities director, any performance issues were fine-tuned and fixed. At the end of the project the engineers found almost double the projected savings they initially thought they would.
Building for the Future
Our Center for Distance Learning is heated and cooled using geothermal technology. This LEED-certified building is 37 percent more efficient than standard code. A profusion of natural daylight and views to the exterior from almost every corner of the building reduce the need for electricity and connect building occupants to the outdoors.
The Rochester location is certified LEED Silver and was designed to achieve a 15% energy cost savings.
The Environmental Sustainability Committee researched energy use by the college’s desktops and found that almost 25 percent of the college’s computers are left on overnight. In partnership with the the department of Integrated Technology Services, the committee is saving 6 percent of the college’s annual electricity use with an automatic shutdown initiative.