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Grant helps McDaniel earn dividends by saving energy

October 23, 2012

A Jessie Ball duPont Fund grant for energy-efficient lighting in the college’s recently renovated dining hall has delivered not only savings in energy and money but also rebates from Baltimore Gas and Electric for lowering electrical production demand.

The $75,000 for lighting in Englar Dining Hall is part of a $150,000 grant awarded to the college in February of 2011 to support a major campus-wide energy conservation initiative. The remainder of the grant is funding two projects. The first is the sub-metering of 11 buildings, including residence halls, so that they can be monitored for energy use and a plan developed to conserve energy. The second project features kiosks stationed in high-traffic areas with information about energy conservation. The initial kiosk will be installed Oct. 29 near the dining hall, with two more slated for installation in the next several weeks.

The new energy-saving light fixtures and controls in the dining hall resulted in a 60-percent reduction in electric usage – and ultimately two rebates from BGE. Incentives in BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program, the first rebate of $10,700 rewarded the lighting installation and the second commits $5,000 toward the purchase of $6,600 in light-emitting diodes or LED bulbs once the bulbs are in use.

“Thanks to the Jessie Ball duPont grant, we’re saving on our electric bill and being rewarded by BGE for easing demand on their energy grid,” said McDaniel President Roger Casey. “Energy efficiency is a win for everyone, and we will continue to look for ways to reduce usage and waste less.”

Another energy conservation project underway will replace the air-conditioning system in Gill Center with units that operate at a higher efficiency. A rebate of about $190,000 from BGE will help defray the $900,000 project cost. Also, the new campus entrance road off Main Street near the Kenneth R. Gill Stadium is illuminated with energy-saving LED lighting – although since the lighting uses energy during low-demand, night-time hours, no BGE rebates apply.  

In recent years, the college has installed geothermal heat pumps in residence halls, new energy-efficient lighting in Gill Gymnasium and Academic Hall, and begun using ice storage systems in Hill and Eaton Halls. In 2010, McDaniel was honored with an award from the Carroll County Environmental Advisory Council for its innovative approaches, educational programs and demonstrative outcomes toward preserving and sustaining environmental resources.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a national foundation that makes grants to a defined group of more than 300 diverse organizations including dozens of residential colleges of liberal arts and sciences. The fund has been supporting McDaniel College since 1988 and provided in 2006 funding to establish McDaniel’s Center for the Study of Aging.

 
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