The University of Richmond conserves energy on many fronts from air-conditioning and lighting to laundry services and appliances.
Our energy efficiency and conservation projects included:
- Successful transition from coal to natural gas as the primary fuel for the on-campus steam plant
- Using a central energy management system to control and optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- Investing in new, high-efficiency heat pumps for the University Forest Apartments
- Installing new, energy-efficient laundry machines to reduce energy and water usage
- Using energy-efficient lighting strategies incorporating classroom occupancy sensors, timed controls and photocells
- Using energy-efficient lamps such as compact fluorescent, LED, and efficient fluorescent lamps and ballasts
- Using energy-efficient appliances (Energy Star compliant) in residence halls and apartments
In 2011, the University completed a full campus energy audit that identified numerous energy conservation and efficiency projects. In 2012, the University established a revolving fund which will invest University cash in the first round of energy efficiency and conservation projects. Savings from the operating budget for the University will repay the fund and allow for the completion of additional projects.
In FY2012, the University received an award of 200,000 kwh worth of RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) from Sterling Planet for achievement during the 2012 Campus Conservation Nationals. The University has begun purchasing RECs for a portion of electricity use on campus in Fall 2012. The University currently participates in the EPA's Green Power Partnership by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits and Green Power to account for 10% of the University's annual energy consumption.
The University installed the first solar panels on campus in 2011 on a block of on-campus apartments. The 2 kw photovoltaic system provides about half the energy used by one four person unit over the course of the year. A solar thermal system was also installed to provide hot water to a different unit. The University uses the Dashboard to monitor these systems.