Friday, June 2, 2023

Mount Saint Mary College Conserves Energy with Help from Central Hudson

Mount Saint Mary College has announced recent efforts to create a greener campus with more sustainable technology and conservation. Part of their efforts come after receiving grants from Central Hudson Gas & Electric.

On campus, six electric car charging stations have been installed in the parking lot between the Dominican Center and Guzman Hall, on the side facing Powell Ave. The cost for using these chargers can be charged to one’s account through the mobile app, Flo.

“With electric cars becoming more prevalent, we added [the charging stations] to make charging easier for the campus community and visitors,” said Brian Moore, director of Purchasing at the Mount. He added, “the college also received grants from Central Hudson and its Make Ready Incentive Program, which reduced 70 percent of the cost to purchase and install the chargers.”

Other green projects include reducing energy usage on campus. Douglas Smith, director of Facilities, noted that an energy performance audit of the college was performed in 2017, outlining several areas where energy conservation could be improved at the college. The Mount has since incorporated improvements based on the audit, including better building insulation and air increased conditioning unit efficiency, as well upgrades to the HVAC system at the Kaplan Center’s swimming pool. Thanks to an Energy Performance Contract completed in 2018, old systems for these units were replaced with digitally monitored ones. A one-year performance audit confirmed that these measures helped maximize energy conservation, Smith said.

Smith confirmed that the Mount continues to make upgrades to equipment on campus to further the school’s energy conservation. For example, the college also converted lighting units to LED light, which Smith reports is more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lights.

To reduce the number of plastic water bottles on campus, additional bottle filling stations were also installed recently inside the Mount’s main buildings: Aquinas Hall, Guzman Hall, the Villa, the Kaplan Center, Hudson Hall, and the Dominican Center.

The Mount’s dining services have also made efforts to reduce food waste. Stephen Andrade, General Manager of Parkhurst Dining, the Mount’s food service provider, said that his department closely tracks the number of portions prepared each week. They also monitor leftovers, to make sure that only the necessary amount of food is prepared weekly.

There is very little leftover food after meals, noted Andrade. He added, “any vegetable scraps we have are also donated to the Biology department, where they feed them to lab worms.”

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