Sustainability @ SU
Holloway Hall


With a growing campus population, the need for academic and student residence space has increased and this trend is expected to continue in the near future. Constructing additional buildings typically means more energy consumption. However, Salisbury University continually strives to improve the efficiency of existing and new building construction. In addition, an energy manager controls and optimizes building HVAC systems using an electronic building automation system. In 2007, a campus wide energy service contract (ESCO) was initiated which replaced lighting, plumbing fixtures, pumps, chillers and other aging infrastructure with more efficient equipment.

At a Glance

  • SU installed occupancy sensors in offices and general purpose classrooms of TETC and Perdue Hall as well as offices in the Commons and Maintenance Building, helping to reduce lighting energy consumption lighting when these spaces are not occupied.
  • A solar hot water system was installed on the roof of Nanticoke Hall during the major renovation in 2011.
  • A student-approved "green fee" was passed in the spring of 2013 and is in the final stages of approval. 
  • SU purchases renewable energy from solar, wind projects.
  • SU completed an energy service contract (ESCO) which included a variety of energy conserving projects with guaranteed energy savings of at least $300,000 per year.

Learn More:

Occupancy sensors

As an energy saving initiative, occupancy sensors are a standard feature in all new construction and major renovations. These sensors automatically turn lights off after an area is unoccupied for a set period of time. Occupancy sensors are estimated to produce a savings of 30%, and are especially effective in areas which have frequent periods of inactivity. Sensors are now a standard feature in new construction projects and major renovations and may be observed throughout TETC and Perdue Hall. In addition, they were installed in offices of the Commons and Maintenance Building as well as the classrooms within the residence halls.

Nanticoke Hot Water Solar Array

A solar hot water array was installed on the roof of Nanticoke Hall during the renovation in 2011. The array consists of a series of glass chambers surrounding black-painted copper piping with copper flashing. The system provides a year-round, renewable source of heated water for the domestic hot water in this residence hall. In addition, the solar hot water was designed to serve as the heat source for the mechanical room in the basement of Nanticoke.

Green Fund

The Student Government Association passed a resolution for a student sustainability fee in the spring of 2013 and it is in the final stages of approval. Once finalized, the fee will fund a variety of sustainability projects which are proposed by students and faculty supervisor. Proposals will be evaluated and awarded by a committee comprised of students, faculty and staff. Successful participants will present results of their projects and each will be posted on the sustainability website.

Renewable Energy Purchases

In 2010, the University System of Maryland (USM) and the Department of General Services executed three (3), twenty year Power Purchase Agreements for renewable energy. The projects are:

  • 16 megawatt solar project at Mount St. Mary's University
  • 10 megawatt wind project in western Maryland
  • 55 megawatt wind project in West Virginia

SU purchases a percentage of the output from each project, which equates to approximately 12 percent of our total electricity use. The Maryland wind project, Roth Rock Wind Farm, became operational in July 2011, with the Pinnacle Project (West Virginia) expected to be operational in the first quarter 2012; and the solar project at Mount St. Mary’s operational later in 2012.

Additional renewable energy is purchased under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which is a requirement of our electricity providers under Maryland law.  For 2013, electricity providers were required to provide renewable energy equivalent to 10.7% of our consumption.  To put this in perspective, for every 100 kilowatt hours purchased, 10.7 kilowatt hours will be from renewable energy sources. This percentage will gradually increase until 2022, when it will remain 20%. 

Energy Performance Contract

In 2007, Salisbury University partnered with PEPCO Energy Services to decrease water usage and energy consumption for a projected $5.3 million savings. PEPCO provided services for 17 projects, including the replacement of aging mechanical equipment or the installation of more efficient equipment for heating and cooling in 14 buildings, the installation of tens of thousands of more energy-efficient bulbs and lighting fixtures and the installation of energy “misers” on vending machines.

The project also involves upgrading approximately 1,700 plumbing fixtures to conserve 11 million gallons of water annually and reducing excessive air and solar infiltration to building interiors in 38 locations.

Funding for the project comes from the guaranteed savings through the investment, as well as from residence hall renovation funding. In all, the project is expected to save water equal to the amount consumed annually by 473 family homes, electricity sufficient to power 1,600 homes, and will reduce emissions equal to removing 1,571 cars from the road.

 Landfill Gas Power Generation

Ingenco operates an electricity generation station powered by recovered landfill gas at the Wicomico County landfill. In 2013, SU purchased 8,000 RECs from the facility to offset emissions from campus operations. The Wicomico County landfill is the repository for the solid waste from the campus and supporting the landfill gas power generation operations is an environmentally responsible way to reduce the impact of the solid waste. The estimated landfill gas being destroyed to produce 8,000 RECs is the environmental equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 7,552 passenger vehicles, the carbon dioxide emissions from burning 210 railcars of coal or the energy benefit of powering 539 homes.