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Conservation


Resource conservation, whether at the individual or institutional level, is often good for the environment and for finances; Hamilton proves the point as an institution, with lots of individual effort. The College Physical Plant has made great strides over the past 10 years in increasing the energy efficiency of its facilities, but three other conservation initiatives also are worth noting.

Winter Holiday Shutdown

Starting in 2011, Hamilton has shut down the majority of campus functions and facilities (excluding emergency operations) between the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day holidays. As a result, the College decreased its energy consumption. Here are the savings from reduced electricity, compared with the prior year's use:

  • 366,891 kilowatt-hours
  • 332,764 pounds of carbon emissions
  • $58,700 in costs


Student Energy Competitions

In the last several years, under the leadership of the Hamilton Environmental Action Group, students have participated in five energy competitions with other institutions. Before 2011, the College energy competitions were internal, notably, “Do It In The Dark,” in which dorms battled to make the biggest cut in electricity consumption. Since 2012, Hamilton students have participated each spring in the Campus Conservation Nationals energy competition and have racked up one first-place and two second-place wins. As a reward for the 2013 first-place finish, the Environmental Action Group received 500 reusable water bottles, which were distributed to the entire incoming freshman class. Here’s a summary of Hamilton students’ electricity conservation savings over three years:

  • 61,364 kilowatt-hours
  • 53,527 pounds of carbon emissions
  • $10,226 in costs


Lucid Building Dashboard

Hamilton initiated a program in 2009 to individually meter the majority of its campus buildings for electricity consumption and to report the consumption through a web portal known as the Lucid Building Dashboard. This system tracks building electrical consumption in real time, and, in a few select facilities, also tracks other utilities, like water and natural gas. The dashboard has been essential in tracking the impact of the holiday shutdowns and the student energy competitions. It also serves as simple educational tool to heighten community members' awareness of the part they play in conservation.

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