Claire Naisby ’12, the college’s energy manager, graduated last year with an idea. She learned of a funding opportunity for sub-meters, available through the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and she thought Davidson College was the perfect place to put those funds to good use.
Sub-metering allows building and facility managers to understand the specific energy use and performance of specific equipment, which allows for more in-depth evaluation and planning for the future. Without sub-meters, organizations are only able to see their comprehensive energy use in any given time period.
“I went to David Holthouser, director of facilities, and pitched the idea of creating a position at the college so I could work toward bringing this project to life,” said Naisby.
Davidson College was awarded the funds—$150,000 to be exact—and the project is well under way.
“We basically get one bill from Duke Energy each month,” she explained. “These new meters will allow us to see how much energy is being used in each residence hall. After we find cost savings and energy savings through this new approach to monitoring our energy use, we hope to expand to all buildings on campus.”
The sub-meters mean more than figuring out who’s spending what. A student competition will further encourage students in each residence hall to have the greatest energy savings each month. A current competition—Do It In The Dark—has taken place for the past six years using 15-year-old meters that exist on the residence halls, but these meters must be manually read and recorded, and some of them are broken. The new sub-meters can be read remotely and provide instantaneous analyses. Students can now see just how easy it is to be green.
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