Over the past 5 years, Saint Mary's has taken a significant step towards reducing our energy footprint, as our campus enrollment and square footage both increase.
Saint Mary's has installed energy monitors to measure buildings' energy consumption in real-time. Consequently, we have retrofitted plumbing fixtures, installed vending misers, and installed occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption. Dante Hall meets LEED-EB certification criteria.
We've completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and signed the California Energy Pledge, requiring the college to reduce its emissions by 20 percent by 2020. We've performed HVAC system replacements, boiler replacements, ventilation improvements, and window film replacements. We've also partnered with Chevron Energy Solutions in developing a self-funding utility conservation project that reduce utility costs, replace old, inefficient equipment and allow for future campus expansion. Projects include high-efficiency lighting, window film, vending machine controllers, sewage flow meters, ventilation improvements and boiler controllers.
Renewable Energy Credits
As of March 2015, Saint Mary's has committed towards offsetting 100% of our expected annual electricity usage by buying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These RECs are nationally-sourced, Green-e Energy Certified and show our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions.
This REC purchase is avoiding CO2 emissions equivalent to those created by burning 1,266,232 gallons of gasoline.
Energy Demand Response Program
During the summer months (May – October), PG&E relies on some of its customers to reduce the energy draw on the Bay Area's power grid. In exchange for lower energy costs to the College, the school assists the effort by curtailing energy consumption on the campus when requested by PG&E. The demand response program was developed to help reduce a brown-out or black-out scenario on campus and in the surrounding areas. This helps reduce energy consumption, saves money & serve as a great neighbor to our communities.
A demand response generally occurs in the late afternoon, a peak period for energy consumption, and runs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. However, on occasion, the time frame could be extended to 7:00 pm.
The Sightlines data summary reports our annual greenhouse gas totals as well as benchmarks for emissions per student and per 1,000 square feet.