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Conservation Efforts Successful

College-wide participation results in reduced heating oil consumption

Even though it's been a warmer winter season so far, John Gratiot, associate vice president for facilities operations and management, says that thanks to conservation efforts, Dartmouth is using even less heating oil than expected.

"I have data that begins in 1970," says Gratiot, "and yes, compared to historical averages, it's been a warmer winter up until now. We are burning almost 5 percent less oil than last year, even after taking into consideration the warmer temperatures."

Dartmouth conserves sticker

Gratiot credits this savings to the collective spirit of conservation on campus.

"We've tried to be stricter in maintaining a 68-degree environment in the buildings where we control the temperature through the energy management system," says Gratiot. "And people have helped out by wearing sweaters and setting their thermostats at 68."

He also explains that during winter break and on evenings and weekends, the non-critical buildings are set at 55 degrees rather than 68. According to Gratiot, so far this year, the college has avoided spending more than $131,000 on oil. With the money saved, President James Wright has made a donation to the Heating Helpers Program at the Listen Center in Lebanon, and to Dartmouth employees for whom higher fuel prices this winter have presented substantial difficulties.

"The increased cost of heating oil has put a particular pressure on some families in the Upper Valley," says Wright. "Dartmouth is pleased to be able to share some of the savings due to our conservation efforts with neighbors and employees."

"At a time when we were all wondering how we would address an ever-increasing number of requests for assistance at the same time we are faced with higher cost for fuel, the Dartmouth gift shows us the way," says Merilynn Bourne, executive director of the Listen Center.

By SUSAN KNAPP

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Last Updated: 12/17/08