Binghamton University budgets about $10 million a year to pay for electricity, natural gas, coal, wood chips, propane water and sewer services. Running the campus is a lot like running a small city.
In fall 2007, former Binghamton University president Lois B. DeFleur was a charter signatory in endorsing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). To date, over 640 universities nationwide have signed on to work toward a goal of climate neutrality. More information about those efforts is available here.
BInghamton University has been monitoring energy use and building operations with a sophisticated Energy Management System (EMS) since 1984. There are 100,000 points on the EMS system. The system allows control and programming of building mechanical, lighting and other systems in accordance with how the buildings are used/occupied. For example, when a building is not in use, systems can be curtailed so that energy is not wasted.
The EMS is improved continuously in an effort to reach a balance between human comfort and energy efficiency.
Since Binghamton University is a state entity, it also follows the guidelines of Executive Order 111.
Energy Saving Projects
Binghamton University continues to implement energy savings projects. Here are some examples:
- Lighting upgrades - ninety percent of the buildings on campus have non LED efficient lighting. Five percent have LED lighting.
- Exit signs - We have also replaced exit signs with LED technology in several buildings.
- Variable speed drives. - We have installed variable speed drives on major motors, pumps and fans which allows us to run equipment more efficiently, saving electricity.
- Free cooling. - Free cooling is the practice of using outside air to cool buildings when conditions are appropriate.
- Replacement - We have replaced older motors with more energy efficient motors. We have also replaced air filters which improves indoor air quality and reduced the amount of electricity needed to operate fans.
- Upgrades - Boiler controls across campus have been upgraded to reduce natural gas consumption.
- Metering - In addition to metering electricity, BU is also adding metering to monitor gas, and water usage in greater detail.
Construction and Renovation
In projects that involve new construction and/or substantial renovation, LEED or green building standards are used. Binghamton University's first two LEED certified buildings are Mountainview's Windham and Cascade Halls. In 2009, the University Downtown Center earned LEED silver status. Bingham Hall in the new Newing Community and the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center also has LEED silver designation.
Energy savings features incorporated in these buildings include high efficiency mechanical equipment, lighting, motors and boilers, daylight views that reduce the need for lighting and a heat recovery system.
Building temperatures are kept at 68 degrees during heating season. Air conditioned buildings are kept at 74 degrees during cooling season.