Two new updates to the campus hot water system will deliver carbon-use reduction and cost savings

Facilities Management is pleased to share information about two campus infrastructure upgrades that advance SUNY New Paltz’s carbon reduction goals while also achieving cost savings for the campus.

First, Facilities staff have successfully reduced the temperature of the high temperature hot water (HTHW) pumping throughout our district heating system from a prior average of 340 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 285 degrees on warmer days, substantially reducing the campus’ carbon emissions as well as our utility budget.

And second, they have scaled back the energy used to pump high temperature hot water around campus, reducing the pumping differential pressure from 70 psi. to 15 psi, which is expected to save the campus about 300,000 kwh of electricity every year and roughly $35,000 per year.

“The timing of the reduction in temperature of our HTHW loop will be immediately beneficial with projected natural gas prices rising 30% this winter,” said Director of Facilities Operations Gary Buckman. “All of the utilities staff have worked hard through [Director of Facilities Operations] Jerry Beattie’s guidance to lay the groundwork for our next phase in the evolution of the department.”

The changes to the hot water system, which enables over 30 campus buildings to be warm during the winter months and provides hot water to many residence halls, will bring a corresponding reduction in the College’s natural gas usage by an estimated 10% during the spring and fall.

This operational change is in alignment with New York State’s Climate Act, which calls for 22 million tons of carbon reductions through energy efficiency and electrification.

To our knowledge, New Paltz is the second campus in the SUNY System, after the University at Albany, to implement such a change.

These updates are part of ongoing work in Facilities Management, led by their newly formed Carbon Neutrality Facilities Team and in collaboration with the State University Construction Fund, to use capital funding to update the Energy Master Plan of 2016 with a new Clean Energy Master Plan focused on charting a pathway to achieve the New York state and SUNY goals of decarbonization and electrification of buildings systems, to ultimately be offset by onsite and offsite renewable energy generation.

The Carbon Neutrality Facilities Team includes Director of Design & Construction Megan Smailer, Director of Operations Gary Buckman, Assistant Director of Facilities Operations Jerry Beattie and Campus Sustainability Coordinator Lisa Mitten.