Climate and Energy

Improving our energy efficiency is a very effective and financially advantageous way to reduce the College's carbon footprint. The projects highlighted below show some of the steps the College is taking to reduce emissions and promote more efficient use of energy.

To see how you can improve your energy efficiency, see the Green Resources page. 

In an energy performance contract (EPC), an outside firm guarantees a certain amount of cost savings by implementing energy efficiency improvements. The firm is then paid over several years using the money saved by the contract's stipulated efficiency upgrades. In 2007, the campus entered a $2.8 million contract managed through the Maryland Department of General Services. By entering the contract and conducting the efficiency upgrades, the College's electricity consumption was reduced by 16.5%, #2 oil use by 23%, and water usage by 34% in 2010. In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, it is estimated that these efficiency measures save the College approximately $350,000 annually. Since 2010, St. Mary's has taken a step backward in energy efficiency, which is why it is imperative that we motivate students and staff to value the energy we use.

We hope to enter a second EPC at the end of our contract and be able to implement projects such as:

  • Upgraded lighting and occupancy sensors
  • Boiler replacements 
  • Weatherization projects 
  • Energy Management System upgrades

Green buildings are designed and built to conserve energy and water, reduce waste sent to landfills, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, utilize recycled and/or renewable building materials, and be healthier and safer for their occupants. The College's last three building projects, Goodpaster Hall, the Muldoon River Center, and Glendening Hall are all LEED Silver certified or equivalent. The upcoming replacement of Anne Arundel Hall, scheduled for completion in 2016, is expected to be a LEED Gold certified project.

Goodpaster Hall, a LEED Silver building

  • GoodpasterSaves 300,000 gallons of water annually - a 30% reduction in water use and sewage output accomplished through use of waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, rain-water and gray-water systems which recycle water from sinks for flushing
  • Uses 30-40% less energy than a conventional building due to smart design and use of highly efficient equipment

Muldoon River Center, a LEED Silver Building

  • Geothermal heat pump that reduces 40% of the power it takes to heat and cool the building.
  • Gray water system, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets
  • Highly efficient

The New Anne Arundel Hall, a LEED Gold Building

  • 19Kw photovoltaic array (solar power)
  • Constructed from efficient and sustainable materials
  • Gray water system, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets

Over the past several years, the Sustainability Committee has gathered dozens of ideas from campus constituents on how to cut the College's energy consumption between 15-20%. Some of these ideas are already being implemented, saving SMCM energy and money.  If you are interested in energy conservation, check out our draft report (PDF) of energy saving ideas. If you have any other ideas for how to save energy, contact the Sustainability Fellow.