All over campus we are making better use of our resources. That's why we teamed up with Ameresco, an energy service company, to implement a $4.65 million plan to improve everything from our faucets to our air conditioning.
Lynchburg College has saved 4,557,600 kWH in electricity and 13,421,364 gallons of water since 2010, for a 3-year savings of about $336,388 thanks primarily to continuing campus-wide retrofits completed as part of LC's commitment to reducing energy use.
The bulk of the savings in electrical use was accomplished with retrofitted lights and heating and cooling systems - equivalent to burning 62,433 100-watt incandescent light bulbs continuously for one month.
While the College saw a 7 percent reduction in electrical usage in 2012, there were two rate increases totaling 9 percent, which meant the College paid more for electricity than it did in 2011. Without the energy savings program, however, the costs would have been much greater.
The savings in water came from the installation of low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets, as well as "smart" irrigation systems that have decreased water usage and are equivalent to 7,063,875 flushes in 3 years.
These upgrades will pay for themselves in 8-9 years with the amount of energy the College will save.
LC is also preventing 5,348 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every year, or the equivalent of:
- Planting 1,215 acres of trees, or
- Removing 980 cars from the road, or
- Saving 607,000 gallons of gasoline, or
- Powering 741 homes annually
Some of our upgrades are practical, such as more energy-efficient lights. Others are more educational, such as the dormitory building sub-meters that will show how much energy each building is using. Below is a complete list of what will be implemented as part of our partnership with Ameresco.
Campus Lighting Upgrade
- Campus buildings have switched from less efficient high intensity discharge (HID) lamps and incandescent bulbs to standard energy efficient fluorescent bulbs (28 watt T8 lamps with electronic ballast).
- These lamps are 15-20 percent more efficient and use less mercury.
Standard flow water fixtures have been replaced with low flow fixtures all over campus.
- Previously, about half Lynchburg College's toilets were 3.5 gpf (gallon per flush) and the other half were 1.5 gpf (in actuality these "low flow" toilets operated at 2.5 gpf). These toilets have been replaced with 1.28 gpf toilets. This reduces flush rate by more than 50 percent and reduces leakage significantly.
- Urinals were 1.2 gpf and have been replaced with a 0.125 gpf urinal. These new urinals operate 90 percent more efficiently than the previous ones and are easier to maintain.
- Faucets ranged from 2.2-2.5 gpm and have been replaced by 0.5 gpm faucets in bathrooms and 1.5gpm faucets in kitchen-style sinks.
- Shower-heads have been replaced with 1.75 gpm units which saves 30-40 percent on water and energy.
- Fox Field, Moon Field, and the practice fields have "smart" water controllers and distribution systems to optimize water usage and eliminate waste.
- The "smart" controller also saves water by using local weather forecasts to determine when to water and when not to.
Schewel Hall Solar Panel
- A 5 kw photovoltaic (PV) panel has been installed on the roof of Schewel Hall.
- A TV screen has been installed in the atrium area of the building to display the instantaneous and historical power generated by the solar panels, which can be viewed on line.
Montgomery Hall Solar Hot Water
- Solar tubes on the roof of this freshman residence hall should save $10,000 annually in water heating costs.
Dormitory Building Sub-Metering
- New water and electrical sub-meters have been installed in the 16 on-campus housing buildings, allowing energy and water usage to be tracked on a building-by-building basis.
- Current and historical utility data for each building will be available via an interactive website.
HVAC System Upgrades
Schewel Hall, Turner Gym, Hobbs Hall, the Knight-Capron Library, and the Burton Student Center will all receive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades to make the buildings more comfortable and better for the environment. Examples include:
- Rooftop supply fans will be equipped with new premium efficient motors and new variable frequency drives (VFD).
- Temperature sensors will be relocated to assess temperature more accurately.
- Dehumidification control sequences will be implemented.
- Direct digital controls will be installed, eliminating the need for a manual switchover between heating and cooling.
- Crawl spaces will be sealed to prevent humid air from infiltrating buildings.
- Chilled water piping systems and control systems will be modified so that the temperature in unoccupied buildings will have a lower set point.
Carnegie Hall, Hobbs Hall, Hopwood Hall, and the Burton Student Center will experience upgrades to boilers and/or heat pumps. Examples include:
- New Automated Logic controls with outdoor temperature sensors and return sensors that turn off the boiler when it is warmer outside.
- New control systems to take outdoor temperature into account and that run on a more efficient schedule.
- Conversion from electric to natural gas system in the Burton Student Center.
Ice Machine Replacements
Campus ice machines that use water for process cooling have been replaced with air-cooled units, saving water.
Alumni House Individual Room Control
The existing mechanical systems and controls in the Alumni House will be replaced with individual room temperature controls. All the systems in the building will be added to the Automated Logic controls system to improve efficiency.