Bowdoin has taken several significant steps to increase energy efficiency including rebuilding several steam lines, upgrading major boilers in the campus central steam plant, installing energy-efficient lighting throughout the campus, incorporating heat recovery and variable frequency drives in building upgrades and new building projects with a strong focus on LEED Energy and Atmosphere credits as well as passive house standards. Lighting projects in 2014 reduced annual electricity usage by more than 600,000 kWhs or 3.2%. The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project at the College’s central heating plant reduced annual electricity usage by 7% through the operation of an efficient steam turbine. Weatherization projects in 2017 and 2018, which include added insulation and air sealing, occurred at Baxter House, Burnett House, and MacMillan House.
Bowdoin has paid for many of these projects through an energy efficiency fund and with help from the Efficiency Maine Trust. Bowdoin has been a smart purchaser of utilities by locking in favorable natural gas, heating oil, and electricity rates. These savings, along with savings related to decreased energy use, have been reinvested into further energy efficiency projects.