University of Maryland: An Institution of Higher Energy Efficiency
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University of Maryland: An Institution of Higher Energy Efficiency

The University of Maryland (UMD), home to more than 55,000 students, faculty, and staff, has an international reputation for excellence in academics, sports and more. UMD also prides itself on its focus on sustainability, becoming one of the first signatories to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment – – a nationwide initiative focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.

After meeting the initial milestones of its Climate Action Plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the university established an updated plan outlining aggressive energy conservation goals. As a result of the university’s commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency has been a key consideration in all major construction projects completed across campus.

By the time Pepco’s Energy Savings for Business Program came online in 2008, the university “was already engaged in energy efficiency projects as part of our carbon neutrality commitment,” says Susan Corry, UMD’s Manager of Energy Projects. UMD would go on to become one of the first business customers to participate in Pepco’s new program.

“The incentives help offset some of the costs associated with higher efficiency equipment and technologies,” Corry continued “The program’s incentives made it possible for us to implement more energy efficiency projects than our limited budget would normally allow.”

UMD’s facilities management team plays a pivotal role in finding solutions to any obstacles they encounter. “Scheduling is always a challenge,” Corry says. “We work closely with our faculty and staff to minimize disruptions and do our best to schedule around critical research done by our faculty members, as well as the academic calendar with classes and the availability of space.”

With Pepco’s incentives and technical support, UMD was able to install equipment and update processes with proven energy-saving benefits throughout the campus. Upgrades to lighting and controls, building automation, variable frequency drives, pipe insulation, and building envelopes have helped the university save more than 6.7 million kWh per year. The university even installed a micro-combined heat and power system. To date, UMD has made use of incentives from Pepco totaling almost $1.5 million! More energy efficiency upgrades are currently underway.

Students, faculty, and staff have taken notice, complimenting the university’s better lighting, quieter environments and more consistent building temperatures.

Congratulations UMD! We look forward to many more years of energy savings and partnership.