In 2018, we started the Amherst College Carbon and Energy Leadership Program - ACCEL. This group meets once a month and brings together Sustainability, Design & Construction, and Operations to apply an energy efficiency lens to all of the work that we do. As part of this program, we analyze data from our Building Management System and our metered data, which currently covers 97 % and 25 % of our buildings, respectively. We are using this data to identify energy projects we can do on campus. We fund these projects through operational budgets, capital renewal funds, and the Green Revolving Fund (GRF).
The GRF is a mechanism to fund energy efficiency projects where the energy savings calculated are redistributed to the fund. This allows the fund to grow over time and support additional projects. The GRF was started thanks to a generous alumni gift.
In 2019, the GRF funded a lighting project in the first year dorms, where fluorescent lights were replaced with LEDs during interterm. The College has been investing in energy meters in campus buildings, and the OES worked with the Stats Department to use student Stats Fellows to analysis the data. The Stats Fellows found a 10 % reduction in the mean electricity use in the dorms between April 2018 and April 2019. We look forward to using the GRF to invest in more energy efficiency projects, and engaging more students through energy metering and benchmarking.