Meeting Our Energy Goals


In 2012, Boston University set a goal to reduce energy consumption by 10% by the end of FY2017. To meet the 10% target, we have taken three important steps:

1. Projects: In 2012 we developed a prioritized project list for the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund and capital projects.

2. Natural Gas: In December of 2015 Boston University signed a Strategic Energy Management Partnership with National Grid, our natural gas utility, with a goal of lowering natural gas consumption by 218,000 therms per year.

3. Electricity: In 2015 Boston University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Eversource, our electrical utility, with a goal of reducing electricity consumption by 30,000,000 kWh over four years.

2015 Progress

Both National Grid and Eversource have provided important additional resources to assist BU with our annual savings goals. National Grid provided an energy engineer 2 ½ days a week, while Eversource provided a partnership with a top engineering firm to assist with energy savings calculations important for project justification and portfolio prioritization.

Natural gas reduction goal for 2015 was 218,000 therms. Through the Strategic Energy Management Partnership with National Grid, the University saved 238,415 therms which represents 109% of the year 1 goal. That’s the equivalent emissions reduction of taking approximately 340 cars off the road for a year.

One of the key project to help us reach this goal was at Photonics. 90,443 therms were saved, or 41% of our goal with this project alone.

“We are so pleased to see that our efforts with BU are already seeing great results in the first year,” said Marcy Reed. “The benefits – both economic and environmental – will help to reduce energy costs for the university and cut emissions from their operations.”

Electricity reduction goal for 2015 was 8,000,000 kWh. Through the Memorandum of Understanding with Eversource, the University saved 8,058,149 kWh which represents 101% of the year 1 goal.

The most visible project was for the residents in the dorms with the installation of the smart power strips on campus. Even more visible savings for 2016 will be for the residents when they returned after Intersession. Facilities Management & Planning’s Electrical Shop replaced the 32 to 40 watt fluorescent tube desk lights with 9 watt LED desk lamps. When complete this project alone will save 1.2 million kWh annually. More residents will see this improvement when they return from spring break, and the rest when they return after the summer intersession.

Exceeding the first year energy-savings goal of our partnership is a clear indication of BU’s focus on the four-year goal of reducing electricity use by 30 million kilowatt-hours,” said Tilak Subrahmanian, Vice President of Energy Efficiency at Eversource. “BU’s success is an important example of how commitment and determination can lead to significant cost and energy savings and reductions in Green House Gases.”

The Path Forward

Of the projects slated for completion by the end of FY2017, about half have already been finished. Most of these early projects were lighting and steam trap upgrades and replacements that have produced 30% of the reductions needed to meet our goal.

By the end of FY2016, major projects at the West Campus Steam Plant, Photonics, and other building HVAC systems will move the University to about 88% of the goal. By the end of FY2017, we will reach the goal by implementing all of the projects on the project list. All of these projects are funded, either through the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund, or through capital improvement funding and through the close collaboration with our utilities.
Utility Partnership Progress

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