Overview of the department
Energy Management works to mitigate the ever-increasing energy costs and the consequential environmental impact caused by energy consumption. Through the monitoring and review of utility usage for the campus, we work to sustain previous energy measures, while working to achieve on-going cost reduction goals. Optimization of these goals requires the collaboration from many departments across campus including: Engineering & Construction, Facilities and Planning, Environmental Health & Safety, and Physical Plant.
Objective of Energy Management
Monitor and Verify Energy Consumption Data
Energy Review of Utility Bills
- Electricity consumption for Wright State Facilities
- Natural gas consumption for Wright State facilities
- The main campus receives electricity at 69KV which is then distributed to buildings at 12.5KV. Main campus billed usages include the Nutter Center.
- As of February 2008, Wright State University installed sub-metering on the buildings on Main Campus. These meters provide 15 minute interval data.
- Facilities on the main campus and in Montgomery county are served by Dayton Power & Light, a regulated provider of electricity.
- The Lake Campus is served by Celina Municipal which is a cooperative.
- Wright State purchases natural gas in the open market (NYMEX).
- Vectren is the local distributor for all Dayton area facilities and Dominion East for Lake Campus.
- The Nutter Center and Main Campus are metered and billed separately by Vectren.
- Main Campus operates two water wells that provide all Main Campus needs.
- Main Campus water is treated by its own water treatment plant.
Campus Energy Conservation Programs
Wright State Eco-Raiders
The Eco-Raiders are a student organization which help to promote Recyclemania and Campus Conservation Nationals as well as other activities around campus.
Campus Conservation Nationals
Wright State competed in a national competition to save electricity. This was a 3 week competition from February 24th - March 15th. The campus building which was able to save the most electricity was the Creatitve arts centers with a 15.2% reduction. The Wright State campus was able to save 153,884 kWh approximately $8000 in a 3 week competition.
Sustainability and Green Initiatives
Geothermal Pond Heat Exchanger>
As as part of the house bill 7 phase II project in May 2013 Wright State installed 3 -100 ton heat exchangers into the pond of the Nutter Center. This additional equipment should handel the cooling needs of the Nutter Center for non events throughout the spring and fall.
14 solar panels on roof top supply about 20% of the energy needed to heat the university swimming pool
The geo-dome is 33 feet in diameter, stands over 14 feet tall and occupies 850 square feet in the Mini U backyard. Three solar panels power the dome's fans, vents, and four-feet-deep water tank independently irrigate and ventilate the greenhouse classroom.
House Bill 7 Phase I
House Bill 7 Phase I was completed. Within this phase of the project, many updates occurred across campus to effectively reduce the universities energy consumption.
14% Consumption Savings achieved
14% Consumption savings is the equivalent of any one of the below*
- 1,114,661 gallons of gasoline not consumed
- 23,112 barrels of oil not used
- 76.8 acres of forest not destroyed
*As calculated by the EPA using the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
Phase I Accomplishments
- Updated building automation
- Lighting and HVAC schedules
- Interior lighting upgrades
- Demand control ventilation
- Updates to hot water heaters
- Building Rankings by Energy Consumption (PDF)
House Bill 7 Phase II
This first phase was so successful Wright State University has embarked on a second phase of this Energy Project, headed up by our Engineering and Construction Department. Wright State University is currently in contract to complete a second phase of a House Bill 7 project. As this project is in a construction phase many energy project personal can be seen all over campus. This phase will include many more energy conservation measures to be completed. Below is a short list of updates that will occur during this phase of the project, for a timeline please check out the Energy Project webpage.
- Lighting Occupancy Sensors
- HVAC equipment upgrades
- Exterior Lighting updates
- Energy Dashboard
Phase II aims to reduce consumption by 40%.
Plug Load Pilot Program
Students will be helping to pilot the bert plug load management system. This new system will start to monitor plug load data on devices around campus, and eventually allow the system to schedule hours of operation for the devices.
How you can help
Tips for Energy Conservation
- Avoid using space heaters. They consume 1.5 kw per hour. Localized heating could cause adjacent space to be over cooled.
- When not using the computer, have it go into hibernate mode. The average desktop computer uses 115w while in use, but in hibernation the computer does not consume any energy.
- Turn computers, printers, copiers, and other machinery off overnight and on weekends. If you must leave a CPU on, turn off the monitor.
- Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. You’ll save energy and get some exercise. (The average office elevator consumes 350 watts of electricity to travel from one floor to the next, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. That’s enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 3.5 hours.)
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Make use of natural lighting as much as possible. Adjustable blinds can let in light while reducing glare.
- Exchange incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lighting. Incandescent bulbs convert only 10 percent of consumed energy into light, while compact fluorescent bulbs utilize 90 percent.
- During the winter, wear heavier clothing, and turn the thermostat down. For every degree the temperature is turned down, you save 5–6 percent on heating energy.
- During the summer, wear loose, light-weight clothing, and turn the thermostat up. For every degree below 78, energy use increases by 3–4 percent of your total cooling load
- Want to know how to save energy with your computer or laptop? Click here for a simple step-by- step video on how to change your computer settings!
- Shorten showers. Showers account for 2/3 of water heating costs
- Close blinds (and windows) after sunset in the winter to keep in heat.Leave them open during summer days instead of turning on extra lights.
- Turn off computer monitors and hard drives when not in use. Set your computer monitor to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity.
- Unplug appliances that are not being used. Most idle appliances -- TVs, VCRs, CD players, microwaves -- continue to consume energy when switched off and account for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption.
- Turn off lights when no one is in the room. Ten percent of the average home's electricity costs can be controlled with the flip of a switch.
- Before long breaks, clean out small refrigerators, and unplug with door propped open.
- The typical lab consumes four to five times more energy than the same-sized office or classroom.
- Chemical fume hoods (of which Vanderbilt has more than 800) are the biggest energy consumer in research settings. While it is important to have the sashes open to the proper location to protect lab personnel when using fume hoods, 20% (or more) energy reductions can be achieved by closing the sashes when not in use.
- Unplug battery chargers and equipment when not in use.
- Turn off equipment when it is not in use and encourage others to do the same. For sophisticated equipment, make it simple for co-workers to turn off equipment by posting procedures for proper start-up and shutdown on or near equipment.
- Turn off centrifuges overnight and over the weekend.
- Provide freezers/refrigerators with proper spacing (2-3 inches minimum clearance from walls or obstructions).
- Eliminate unnecessary freezers/refrigerators by getting rid of items that are no longer needed and combining contents into fewer freezers/refrigerators. (Please contact Plant Services or Plant Operations if your department needs to get rid of an appliance.)
- Instead of buying a freezer/refrigerator for additional space, eliminate old samples and solutions from existing freezers/refrigerators.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers organized (give each person a section) so that clean up and removal of old samples is easier. Before a group moves out of your area, ask them to get rid of unnecessary samples and condense their items into the smallest space possible.
- When purchasing a new refrigerator, invest in an EnergyStar-rated replacement.
- Cook with small appliances. Cook with your toaster oven, electric skillet and slow cooker for specialized jobs, rather than the range. Small appliances use less energy.
- Use the microwave. Microwave ovens shorten cooking times, which saves energy.
- Clean or replace air filters. Replace filters on exhaust hoods, humidifiers, vacuums, etc. Clogged filters impair performance and cause the units to run longer.
- Run cold water for disposal. Hot water requires energy to warm the water. Cold water saves energy and solidifies grease, moving it more easily through the garbage disposal and pipes.
- Purchase an Energy Star model. Select the right size. Determine your household’s needs before purchasin
- Clean the unit. Clean dust off the condenser coils, fins, evaporator pan and motor once or twice a year. A clean unit runs more efficiently. Unplug the unit and clean with a vacuum cleaner or long-handled brush.
- Defrost a manual-defrost unit regularly. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy. Don’t allow more than one-quarter inch of frost to build up.
- Check the seals on all equipment
- Run full loads. Always wait until you have a full load before running your dishwasher. Full loads use the same amount of hot water and energy as smaller loads. You run fewer loads and save energy.
- Skip rinsing the dishes. Rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher wastes energy. If you do rinse, use cold water.
- Clean the filter.
- Reduce the heat. Begin cooking on a higher heat setting until liquid begins to boil. Then, lower the temperature and simmer the food until fully cooked. A fast boil doesn’t cook faster than a slow boil, but it does use more energy.
- Don’t peek in the oven. Resist the urge to open the oven door while baking. Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25° F and requires additional energy to bring the temperature back up.
- Put a lid on it. Cook food and boil water in a covered container whenever possible. This traps the heat inside and requires less energy.
- Adjust the water level. If you have a washer that allows you to control the load’s water level, adjust the level according to laundry load size. You can save energy by using less hot water for small loads.
- Wash laundry in warm or cold water. Washing laundry with warm or cold water works your water heater less. Use hot water only when the greatest cleaning is needed.
- Rinse in cold water. Rinse water temperature has no effect on cleaning. Rinsing with cold water saves money by heating less water.
- Don’t dry clothes excessively. Drying laundry excessively uses more energy than is needed, and is hard on fabrics. If you purchase a dryer, get one with an electronic sensor that shuts off the dryer when clothes are dry.
- Insulate water pipes. Use half-inch foam or pipe tape for insulation wherever pipes are exposed. On cold water pipes, insulate four to five feet nearest to the water heater. Pipe insulation can save you up to $25 annually.
- Set the water temperature to 120° F. It takes less energy to heat water to a lower temperature. If you have an electric water heater, you’ll have to remove the cover plate of the thermostat to adjust the temperature. For safety reasons, remember to turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker/fuse before changing the temperature.
- Install a heat loop or in-line trap. If you add a new water heater to your home, consider having a heat loop or in-line trap installed. These mechanisms can be inexpensive to install and keep hot water from moving into the piping system when you are not using hot water. Ask your plumbing contractor for details.
- Reduce deposits and build-ups. Drain a bucket of water from the bottom of the water heater once or twice a year to reduce mineral deposits and sediment build-up. This increases water heater efficiency. Don’t drain the water heater, though, if you’ve used it for a year or more and have never drained it. The faucet may have corroded shut and could break if you force it open. Before draining the water from an electric water heater, turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker/fuse.
- Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. You can cut your electric bill by $60 per year if you replace the standard bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures. Properly dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs at your local household hazardous waste collection site.
- Use natural lighting. Open curtains and shades during the day instead of using lighting. Consider skylights and solar tubes during remodeling or new construction design. This allows the maximum use of natural daylight.
- Use a single, high-watt bulb. Using one high-watt bulb instead of several low-watt bulbs saves energy. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended wattage for the fixture.
- Control outdoor lighting. To assure only dusk-to-dawn operation of your outdoor lights, control your fixtures with a photocell or a timer.
- Turn off lights. Turn off lights when not in use, even for short periods of time. Turning lights off and on uses less energy than if they are left on all the time.
- Install a timer on indoor lights. Use timers to turn lights on and off to help regulate use.
- Avoid long-life incandescent light bulbs. Long-life incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient of the incandescent bulbs.
- Position lights properly. Try to illuminate the entire activity area without creating distracting glares or shadows. To do this, position your light source closer to the area you want lit. This saves energy by not over-lighting an unused area.
- Adjust light level. Higher light settings use more energy, so save energy by using dimmer controls, high/low switches or three-way bulbs to adjust the level of light to exactly what you need.
- Keep the thermostat clear of heat. Don’t position heat-producing devices such as lamps and TVs close to your thermostat. Heat from these devices could cause the thermostat to read a temperature higher than the true room temperature. This may lead to excessive cooling and wasted energy.
- Get your unit tuned up. Have your central air conditioner tuned up by a qualified heating contractor every other year. This can help the unit operate more efficiently and may prevent failures in the middle of peak cooling season.
- Increase your thermostat setting. When at home, set it a few degrees higher. When leaving, move the setting even higher -- about 78 to 80 degrees. Cooling the house when you return costs less than keeping it cool all the time. Taking these steps can save 10 percent or more on your summer cooling costs.
- Cool only the rooms in use. Close unused rooms to keep cooled air in areas where it is most needed.
- Don’t make more heat. Delay chores that produce heat and moisture until the cooler parts of the day or evening. Limit dishwashing, laundering and cooking on hot, humid days. These activities make your room more uncomfortable and require your air conditioner to work harder.
- Turn off electronics you are not using. Don’t leave electronics, such as televisions, stereos and computers, on if you don’t need them – they produce heat. Extra heat requires more energy to power the air conditioner and increases cooling costs.
- Keep vents clear. Keep furniture and drapes away from air vents. This allows the cool air to move out into the rooms and keeps your air conditioner from running more than necessary.
- Ventilate your attic. Reduce heat build-up in your attic by installing proper ventilation. This helps keep your house cooler during the summer. A qualified heating contractor can help you do this.
- Keep the air conditioner out of the sun. Locate the unit out of direct sunlight and avoid the south and west sides of the house. Placing the air conditioner in direct sunlight causes it to work harder to cool your home.
- Purchase a unit with varying fan speeds. Use a room air conditioner with fan speed control. This allows faster cooling when needed and quieter, more efficient operation at other times.
- Keep the unit centrally located. To allow better air circulation, install your room air conditioner in the window or area of the wall that is nearest to the middle of the space being cooled.
- Use ceiling fans for air circulation. In hot weather, set the ceiling fan direction to blow air down. The air moving across your skin creates a cooling effect, allowing you to raise the temperature on your thermostat and still feel cool. In cold weather, set the fan to blow toward the ceiling. This pushes warm air away from the ceiling and evenly distributes heat in the room.
- Use a whole-house fan. These fans are mounted in the attic and ventilate your entire home. Be sure to open some windows before turning on a whole-house fan. A qualified heating contractor can help you determine if you need a whole house fan.
- Maintain your fan. Keep your fan in good working order. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance. This helps control the operating costs.
- Maintain the furnace. Clean your furnace filters monthly or replace if necessary. A clean unit runs more efficiently.
- Change your thermostat settings. In the winter, set your thermostat at 60° F when you are sleeping or gone. Set the thermostat to 68° F when you are at home. This can save 10 percent or more on your heating bills every winter.
- Turn down the thermostat when away. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, turn your thermostat down to save energy but never lower than 40° F. If you have delicate houseplants, keep the setting at 50° F or higher.
- Let the sun in. The sun’s energy can have a noticeable effect on the temperature in your home, especially from windows facing south and west. Keep window shades and drapes open during winter months to let in the sun’s radiant heat.
- Use the fireplace sparingly. Many older natural fireplaces are inefficient and draw more heat out of the house than they produce. Close the flue to eliminate drafts when not in use.
More great places to look for energy information: