In November 2016, the College's 2.9 megawatt solar array began producing about 10% of our annual energy needs. The solar farm will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help New York state achieve its Clean Energy Standard that 50% of its electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030. The solar array, however, is not located on the College campus. The project uses remote net metering, which allows IC to take advantage of more than 9,000 solar panels on a 15-acre site in the Town of Seneca. The installation is expected to generate 3.55 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year and will offset approximately 888 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Live data from the solar farm can be found here.
Geothermal at PRW Center
The Peggy Ryan Williams Center, which houses College Admissions, Financial Services, and the College President, is one of two LEED Platinum certified buildings on campus. One feature that highlights PRW Center's sustainable design is the use of a ground-source geothermal energy system. The system uses the Earth's relatively consistent temperature to provide heating and cooling for the building through thirty-six 500-foot-deep bore holes. The use of geothermal energy allows the PRW Center to get over 50% of its energy from renewable sources.
On-Campus Energy Efficiency
Living on campus and interested in conserving energy? Take note of some of the energy-saving tips below and start decreasing your carbon footprint.
1. SWAP OUT YOUR LIGHTBULBS
Ditch the cheap, incandescent light bulbs and replace them with energy-efficient LED models. Not only do LED bulbs use 70% less energy than their conventional counterparts, but they also last up to 5-times longer.
2. CONDITION YOURSELF, NOT THE AIR
One of the most impactful choices a student can make is to be mindful of the heating and cooling systems at work. In the winter, dress in layers and keep the windows closed. Leaving even just a few windows open in a residence hall will force the heating system to try and heat the cooler space, leaving other rooms feeling too hot while it tries to catch up. If you and others leave your windows shut, the system will regulate itself leaving individual dorms at a comfortable temperature. In the summertime, if your dorm, classroom, or apartment uses air conditioning, keep the windows shut to avoid cool air escaping outdoors.
3. PASS ON THE MICROFRIDGE
Microfridges use an astounding amount of electricity when in use. Lucky for IC students, residence halls offer shared refrigerators and microwaves for your convenience.
4. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS
As you head out the door for the day, make sure to flip the light switch off on your way.
5. UNPLUG ELECTRONICS WHEN NOT IN USE
Make sure to unplug electronics and chargers when you're finished with them to avoid phantom load. A great way to make this easy change is to plug all electronics into a surge-protected power strip with an on/off button. Switch the strip on when in use, flip it off when you leave (bonus points: unplug the strip completely when not in use).
6. USE THE COLD CYCLE ON WASHING MACHINES
Did you know nearly 90% of the energy consumed by washing machines is used for heating water? Switch to cold water and get the same clean for less energy.
7. REPORT ISSUES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL
Any time something in your classroom, dorm, or residence hall isn't working appropriately, it has the potential to be a source of huge energy loss. If you think something isn't functioning the way it's supposed to (leaky faucets, for example) call (607) 274-3225 or submit a work order online.
8. START SHUTTING DOWN
Classrooms and labs around college campuses often leave desktop computers and lights on all night, sometimes even over long winter breaks. Make sure to shutdown computers, projectors, and other equipment if you're the last to use it.
9. SHOP WISELY
When purchasing electronics and small appliances, search for the ENERGY STAR logo and high recycled content.
Off-Campus & Circle Apartment Energy Efficiency
Living off-campus gives you more freedom to control your space. Use the tips below to ensure you're taking advantage of every opportunity.
During winter, set your thermostat to 65o during the day to reduce your heating use by as much as 15%. Planning to leave your apartment for winter break? Turn your thermostat down to 58o.
In the summer months, keep your thermostat around 78o . Typically, each degree above 75 will save about 3% of the energy used to cool your home. To save even more energy, close doors to rooms you don't often use so you're not cooling unnecessary space. No central-air in your apartment? Instead of installing a window unit, consider box fans to better circulate air in your home.
3. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS
As you head out the door, be sure to switch the lights off and utilize natural daylight.
4. CONSIDER TASK LIGHTING
Doing homework or reading a book? Consider using a desk lamp or task lights to focus lighting where you need it.
5. REPLACE BULBS
LEDs are the energy efficiency standard these days. Replace incandescent bulbs with these equally bright, but more efficient counterparts.
6. INSULATE WHERE YOU CAN
While building insulation is likely outside your control when renting, there are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your space. In winter, area rugs can reduce heat loss. You can purchase window insulation kits that help protect your space from cold, winter drafts. Simply use the included plastic and tape to enclose your windows and shrink with a hairdryer. Consider purchasing (or better yet, making) a door draft stopper to keep cold air out.
7. LET FANS HELP YOU
Have ceiling fans in your apartment? In the summer, make sure your fan rotates in a counter-clockwise direction (to circulate cool air down to you), while in the winter it should rotate clockwise (to pull cool air away from you and push warm air down).
8. USE YOUR APPLIANCES WISELY
Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load. When washing your clothes, try not to use wash-cycles that use hot water and hang dry your clothes when possible.
9. UNPLUG ELECTRONICS & CHARGERS
Finished charging your cellphone, watching TV, or playing video games? Unplug unnecessary electronics and chargers when not in use.
10. REPORT ISSUES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL
Leaky faucets, broken windows, running toilets, or malfunctioning HVAC systems should always result in a call to your landlord or maintenance.