The greenest resource is the one you don’t use. Whether it’s water, paper, heating and air conditioning, or electricity, we all have a responsibility to use less and be wiser consumers of natural resources. As an institution of higher education, we believe that Towson has an even deeper responsibility to serve as a good steward of our natural resources. To that end, we are implementing a number of planning measures and reduction initiatives to reduce our carbon impact from an institutional perspective, as well as launching a variety of awareness campaigns and programs to engage and involve the campus from a community perspective. We believe that by bringing both of these elements together, we can achieve our climate goals and make a measurable and lasting impact on the world around us.
As a signatory of the President’s Climate Commitment, TU has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The path toward this goal is a long one, and our climate action plan lays out our long-term strategy for achieving it. The strategy involves conducting annual inventories of campus greenhouse gas emissions which provide the data for comparisons and trending of campus energy usage. That trending data is then used to identify energy reduction projects and develop best practices that help to reduce overall consumption. Such initiatives include the development of standard occupancy hours to guide the use of electricity in campus buildings, standard practices for turning down heating and air conditioning (HVAC) units in residence halls during the summer and winter breaks, as well as the installation of energy efficient LED lighting in campus buildings. Specific reduction projects are highlighted below.
• The University completed an $8 million Energy Services Company (ESCO) contract in August 2012. The project enabled the installation of 14,000 new lighting fixtures, 20,000 retrofit fixtures and 9,600 occupancy sensors in 35 of the university's 46 buildings. The project is expected to reduce the campus's energy costs by approximately $1 million a year.
• As part of the $8 million ESCO, the University installed daylight sensors on the main floor of the Cook Library, reducing the consumption of energy for lighting during daylight hours.
The Office of Energy Engineering and Conservation works closely with the Office of Sustainability to identify and complete projects that reduce campus energy consumption. The following list contains information about TU's energy practices, as well several recently-completed energy reduction projects.
• In late 2010, the lighting fixtures on the east canopy of the Enrollment Services building were replaced with high-efficiency LED fixtures. The new lighting consumes 70% less energy than the previous fixtures.
• Electric SmartMetering systems have been installed in almost all campus buildings providing accurate, real time monitoring of electrical usage and demand.
• The campus fleet contains five electric vehicles which help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with university transportation.
• The university has two LEED Gold certified buildings—The College of Liberal Arts and West Village Commons. The University is committed to design, build and operate all future buildings and additions to at least Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard.
• The Campus Utility Plant Addition, completed in 2009, has expanded the production and distribution of heating, cooling and electricity on campus. The efficiencies gained from buildings being connected to the plant are expected to reduce the university’s cooling power consumption significantly.
• The University has engaged the services of a Curtailment Services Provider (CSP) to enroll in demand side management programs with the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) regional transmission organization. These programs provide cost incentives, usually based on wholesale market rates, for voluntary electrical load reduction during periods of high electrical demand in the regional area. For the University, these load reductions are usually gained through cutting back on chilled water generation, turning off non-essential equipment and lighting during peak demand hours.
• The University uses Verdiem, a software program, to manage the power usage of networked computers on campus. This software can impose power saving settings over top what the PC may be set for locally. Its power setting policies are adjustable and can be centrally controlled by the University office of Technology Services. Currently 40 percent of the 5000 networked computers are being operated under this system.
• In 2011, the University received an estimated 8 percent of its purchased electricity from renewable sources. Of this 8 percent, approximately 6 percent was purchased as part of Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and the other 2 percent was achieved through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
Office of Sustainability
General Services Building, Room 132A (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.