National Grid’s energy efficiencies fuel savings for JWU

By Jennifer Bray

Johnson and Wales University’s Downcity Providence Campus.


3,650 showers. 3,650 breakfasts. And 3,650 laptops.

During the busy school year, 3,650 students live on campus at Johnson and Wales University’s (JWU) Downcity and Harborside Campuses. And another 3,650 students flock to classes and cafeterias there.

Finding the energy to fuel the lives of that many people can be a costly venture

When JWU decided it needed a more strategic plan for energy efficiency to lower their electricity and gas costs, they looked to National Grid with its suite of energy saving solutions.

National Grid offered up a tailor-made menu of choices for JWU featuring lower energy costs, reduced maintenance and turnkey pricing for lighting. The menu fit the bill for the University and they embarked on a strategic energy management partnership (SEMP). JWU also received the added benefit of higher incentives under SEMP.

“I think it was important for Johnson and Wales University to partner with National Grid because we offered a strategic plan for both energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Wendy Carriero, who specializes in strategic energy solutions for National Grid.

After installing 72 condensing water heaters in dorms, packaged HVAC units with controls on rooftops, LED stairwell and interior lighting and EV (electric vehicle) charging stations on both campuses, JWU has seen something remarkable happen.

The SEMP electric goal for 2019 was to save 300,000 kwhs (kilowatt hours) and JWU saved more than double that with 709,992 kwhs. Their gas goal was 30,000 therms (unit of measuring heat) and with the SEMP, JWU saved 30,496 therms.

Matthew Fannon, the Sustainability and Energy Conservation Manager for Johnson and Wales University, explains the benefits of working with National Grid.

“Creating a Strategic Energy Management Plan for Johnson & Wales University supports our institution’s strategic plan, which invests in a sustainable future through the responsible and pragmatic allocation and management of resources,” said Fannon.

“In recent years, the university has built LEED certified buildings while working simultaneously to upgrade and modernize the infrastructure and systems in the older buildings across our campus. The SEMP helped the university analyze ways we could achieve a reduction in costs through various energy efficiency incentives,” Fannon said.

He also explained that by switching the heating and cooling rooftop units with more efficient models and replacing boilers with on-demand systems it helped to reduce the University’s CO2 emissions.

“JWU has exceeded both its gas and electric goals,” said Carriero. “It’s exciting because in this first year they have surpassed their goals and are not only able to do capital projects but are able to take on a deeper dig for additional energy efficiency measures and savings.”

From easy-to-swap lighting and controls to fully integrated energy plans, National Grid’s energy savings programs can not only lower utility bills but can also improve the workspace. Learn more about energy efficiency savings with National Grid here

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