The Boston College Utilities Management group has direct responsibility for the University's utility budget, utility consumption, and utility conservation programs. The group supports the management of the University's Energy Management Control System (EMCS), develops utility budgets for all of BC's properties, and oversees payments of utility bills.
Boston College has converted the heating plant that serves Claver, Loyola, and Xavier Residence Halls with state-of-the-art dual-fuel boilers. This conversion directly reduces the amount of emissions to the environment by decreasing fuel consumption and allowing the use of cleaner-burning natural gas.
Other heating plants, such as the one located in St. Mary's Hall, have been upgraded and emissions lowered through the use of low-sulfur fuel oil.
Ongoing preventive maintenance efforts to steam distribution infrastructure, such as a steam trap program, save fuel oil and reduce emissions.
BC strives to reduce electric use to save dollars and, in turn, to reduce the amount of emissions the electric utility companies emit from their generating plants. Electric conservation has taken place at BC in the following areas:
- Retrofitting buildings with efficient lighting: Stuart Hall, 66 Commonwealth Ave., McElroy, the Bookstore, Lower Campus Dining Facilities, the Central Heating Plant, and Edmonds Hall have been recently retrofitted, saving BC over 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
- Installing high-efficiency motors to run building equipment
- Controlling efficient motor operation with variable-frequency drives
- Implementing a computerized energy management system to operate the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in buildings
- Installing motion sensors to turn lights off when areas are not being occupied
- Participating in Utility-Sponsored Demand Side Management and Response Programs
The Central Heating Plant at Boston College provides steam to the majority of buildings on the Main Campus. The Plant has the capability to use #6 oil or natural gas. Knowing that natural gas is an environmentally cleaner burning fuel, the Plant uses natural gas from March through November.
Water conservation is important to guarantee adequate supplies for future needs. In addition, water and sewer costs have risen over 500% in the last 10 years and are continuing to rise. To address these challenges, Boston College has taken the following water conservation measures:
- Installation of low-flow toilets
- Installation of low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators
- Utilization of underground sprinkler systems that provide for an efficient irrigation process