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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

QU earns sustainability award for energy efficiency


United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas presented Quinnipiac University with the Avangrid Sustainability Achievement Award on Nov. 13. 

Hammad Chaudhry, senior manager of conservation and load management at Avangrid — the parent company of UI and SCG — said the company awarded Quinnipiac for its sustainability initiatives after looking at the university’s conservation efforts.

Chaudhry said Avangrid looks for certain conservation criteria while deciding whether the improvements a business — or, in this case, a university — is doing are worth pursuing as a collaborative project.

“Essentially, we look at what kind of energy savings are coming out of the project,” Chaudhry said. “What kind of paybacks are there and really help our customer niche and meet them wherever they are on their energy efficiency journey.”

Avangrid sponsors EnergizeCT, a state program that oversees the New Construction Energy Efficiency Program. The program incorporates energy saving resources for construction and major building renovation projects.

Depending on what improvements the building needs, Chaudhry said, it can take anywhere from weeks to months to be completed.

“We are looking at all possible opportunities to help customers save energy and become sustainable,” Chaudhry said.

With its newly installed high-efficiency lighting, hot water heaters and vending machine controls on the North Haven Campus, Chaudhry estimated Quinnipiac has saved enough energy to power around 120 homes a year.

“These programs are designed to help our customers meet their climate change goals, become energy efficient and environmentally sustainable and all do their part in the environment,” Chaudhry said.

Erik Robie, Avangrid’s director of customer programs and products, explained that the key to energy efficiency is focusing on using less energy with lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

“It’s important for Quinnipiac to be awarded and to get the publicity around it because your president is a fond leader wanting to do energy and sustainability projects,” Robie said. “I think it shows other residential homeowners, small businesses, large businesses that it can be done and it can be done cost effectively.”

Having a partnership such as the one Avangrid has with Quinnipiac has a meaningful impact for sustainability, Robie said.

“I’m proud of the long-term partnership that we’ve had with the university,” he said. “I hope that we can continue to keep doing these projects well into the future.”

Quinnipiac President Judy Olian used the terms “learning, living and leading” to define the university’s on-campus sustainability goals. Included in learning, she said, are the degree programs Quinnipiac offers in environmental policy and environmental sciences.

“This is really about our commitment to sustainability, to the future of our planet, our obligation to reduce our energy consumption and do what we do for the future of our students,” Olian said.

Olian added that the three new buildings on the South Quad will be certified in accordance with the LEED rating system, a globally recognized building sustainability certification program. The university is committed to becoming a model for a sustainable future, she said, noting that the completed South Quad will house a central energy plant designed to fuel the Mount Carmel Campus.  

Mayor Lauren Garrett congratulated Quinnipiac on its achievement and said that the new campus buildings are exciting for the town as well.

“We’re doing (sustainability) work on the town side and I’m just really happy that (the Quinnipiac administration is) doing this work as well,” Garrett said. “We’re really happy for the partnership that we have with QU and the work that you’re doing on your Mount Carmel Campus.”

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