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Energy Reductions

2000 to the Present

For almost three decades, Hampshire College has been striving to make its campus sustainable; our longstanding commitment to energy reduction grows stronger each year.

Hampshire's Long History of Energy Conservation

Since 1974, shortly after opening, Hampshire College has been striving to reduce campus energy use. The campus initially included a mix of new buildings and late 19th-century farm houses. The new buildings, including Franklin Patterson Hall, Cole Science Center, and the Harold F. Johnson Library Center, were constructed with all-electric heating, the standard for commercial buildings at the time.
  Electricity Reductions Over Time
As energy conservation movements in the United States strengthened and electricity prices continued to rise, Hampshire initiated bold steps to reduce the College's energy use. These early steps reduced electricity use from 15.8 million kilowatt hours (KWH) per year in 1974 to 12.25 million KWH per year in 1976.    1974
15.8 Mil
In the early 1980s we converted all the electrically heated academic buildings to gas hot water heating, installing gas fired co-gens (combined heat and power that produces hot water heating as well as electricity). Additionally, we initiated a campus-wide awareness program spearheaded by an energy manager. A computerized energy management system was installed to monitor and control energy use, with schedules (including night setbacks), load shedding, and duty cycling. These efforts yielded a reduction to 10.25 million KWH/year by 1990.   1975
12.25 Mil

Our efforts continued in the 1990s when we converted incandescent lighting to fluorescent lighting with electronic ballasts, mercury vapor lighting to high pressure sodium in our outdoor lights, and metal halide for indoor lights. In addition, all major motors were changed to high efficiency motors with variable frequency drives. 

10.25 Mil

By 2000 our total electricity use had declined to only 7.4 million KWH/year.

7.4 Mil
Through our contining efforts, in 2009, though the campus grew by 20%, we realized a further reduction to 6,672,997 KWH/year.   2009
6.67 Mil

In addition to our impressive history of reductions described below, some of the ways we continue to reduce our carbon footprint include:

  • Energy Star appliances purchased whenever available.
  • Residences being converted to more energy efficient and environmentally friendly sources. We have converted our electric-heated Dakin dorm and our Enfield apartments to natural gas hot water heating; all our residential electric-heated domestic hot water is now heated by natural gas, either by our co-gen or by high-efficiency tankless water heaters. Electric stoves in most residences are now gas stoves.
  • Aging boilers being upgraded to the most energy-efficient models, with three quarters of the Arts Village now converted to such use.
  • Energy recovery units on exhaust air as part of all new buildings and renovations; they have been recently installed in the Art Barn and the Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video.

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