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Energy Efficiency Projects

Here at UMass Lowell, we aim to educate, conduct research, and apply that knowledge to the world. As such, we have several classes that touch upon the following topics, and we also have several projects going on on campus that are increasing our energy efficiency and usage.

We have already seen successes in our energy efficiency as a result of the work done so far. Since FY 11 UMass Lowell has seen its Energy Use Index or EUI (Kbtu/SF) drop 14.5 % and since FY 04, EUI has dropped 34.9%.

UMass Lowell has also seen its EUI drop in 10 of the last 11 Years. Here is a sampling of the projects that have helped UMass Lowell achieve such reductions!

Accelerated Energy Program

The AEP will reduce energy by more than 20% of the annual energy usage of the buildings in the project scope. It is calculated to reduce annual campus utilities usage by 6 Million kWh; 500,000 therms and 2.5 Million gallons of water. The program includes the modernization and energy efficiency upgrade of Olney Laboratory fume hood systems; renewal of the South Campus Steam Plant; replacement of Boilers, AHUs; and Tsongas Arena LED Lighting Upgrade; Mechanical System Controls; Low flow plumbing fixtures; showers; and interior and exterior Lighting System upgrades. The program will install or upgrade BAS, energy recovery, plumbing, electrical and perform fuel switches. Renewable technologies programs include: Solar thermal heating at ICC; and Parking Canopy Solar PV at South Campus Garage. It will reduce Deferred Maintenance by about $10M. In addition, the AEP will reduce GHG by approx. 5,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent.

Utility Incentive Account

The Administration and Finance and Energy Subcommittees created a Parent Energy Project account that will be funded by third party incentive programs. The University was approved for $1.6 Million in incentive funds by National Grid; a balance of over $1.27 Million is currently in the account and $261,000 has been used to finance new energy projects. This is a sustainable building practice as this program and account have been and will continue to fund energy efficiency projects in many old, new, and future buildings.

UMass Lowell installed more than 100 real-time, building-level energy meters on campus to track electricity, gas and steam usage and identify opportunities for increasing efficiency, especially during peak hours using energy intelligence software. The software allows UMass Lowell to prioritize projects more effectively, mitigate peak demand charges, achieve persistent savings, avoid maintenance costs, and measure and verify savings.

Internally-Funded Energy Projects

Many internally funded lighting efficiency projects have occurred on campus including:

  • Exterior LED upgrades: Costello building sidewall and overhangs; South Campus building roof, wall packs, parking lot, street and post lights; Tsongas Arena grounds; North Campus wall packs and walkways and East Garage Parking Area lighting.
  • Interior LED Lighting: Olsen First Floor; Ball 210; Cumnock and Olney Auditoriums; ICC Interior LED Lighting; Olsen Restroom all floors; Fox stairwells; CRC Weight room; Durgin Mechanical Room and Restrooms-Floors 2-4; O’Leary 222; Mechanical Rooms and Ball 210.
  • Lighting Controls were added to North Campus Field lighting; and Southwick Occupancy Sensors.
  • Steam, piping and Steam Plant projects included: Steam Insulation Jackets for North Campus Steam Plant; Vault and piping upgrades for both North and South Plants; EPA Maximum Available Control Technology permitting; NCSP Study and Upgrade Flash Tank and Piping.
  • Phase 4 and 5 of Steam Trap Maintenance program was completed and these projects repaired or replaced all traps on campus.
  • HVAC Efficiency Upgrade Projects are in process for Weed HVAC; ETIC Lab and Clean Room- all floors; ICC HVAC Units for Floors 1 and 2.
  • Installation of Building Automation Systems: Light, temperature, movement, and rain sensors allow us to utilise operational systems only when needed, and thus to preserve energy and other resources such as water.

Transportation

The shuttle system at UMass Lowell aims to reduce emissions and energy use from automobiles in the city by replacing several automobiles that individuals may drive for errands with one shuttle that can take multiple students at once. Additionally, the shuttle drivers take these further steps to reduce energy usage:

  • Minimizing idling time to 30 seconds
  • Removing excess weight to increase mileage
  • Driving gently to increase mileage
  • Planning trips to minimize travel
  • Checking air tire pressure.