Campus Energy Use:
From a sustainability perspective, energy is arguably the most important resource that we manage. Campus energy use from electricity and natural gas sources generates over half of our campus greenhouse gas emissions. In total we use 13,493,679 kWh of electricity a year at a cost of around $1,091,650. This is enough electricity to power around 1,202 U.S. households per year. Additionally our campus uses 615,612 therms of natural gas a year at a cost around $345,571. This is enough natural gas to heat around 670 U.S. households per year. In order to reduce our Energy Use the 2016 Whitman College Climate Action Plan lays out a ground work to decrease and offset our energy use.
Conserving Energy is done both at the institutional level, as well as, the individual level. The following illustrates the stages of energy reduction.
Energy Conservation is about our behavior and the actions that we can take every day to reduce energy use at work and at home, such as: turning off lights when not needed, powering off and unplugging computers and other electronics when not being used, turning down the thermostats, taking shorter showers and more.
Energy Efficiency is technology that helps us reduce our energy use including: more efficient LED light bulbs, occupancy and vacancy sensors, energy-efficient mechanical and HVAC systems and appliances, and more.
Renewable Energy is the final piece of the pyramid. After reducing as much energy as we can from conservation and efficiency, Whitman College strives to incorporate as much renewable energy, currently from solar thermal, solar photovoltaic,and wind, to our energy portfolio.