Catawba College

At a Glance


College or University

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Financial Evaluation and Planning




Salisbury, NC

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Annual kWh Savings:

2,000,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

800 metric tons


Carrie Gonnella conducted energy audits and identified a range of energy efficiency projects.


Carrie Gonnella spent her summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Catawba is a private, liberal arts college serving 1,000 students. Gonnella was hired to identify several opportunities for Catawba to cut both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.


Gonnella conducted audits of 23 buildings on campus to uncover potential energy efficiency projects. Her analyses found a range of projects with a positive return on investment for Catawba, including improvements to lighting, heating and air conditioning, vending machines and campus policy. Gonnella also recommended Catawba utilize various strategies to address any campus barriers while undergoing the efficiency projects. These strategies, such as the creation of a green revolving fund, will support the implementation of energy efficiency projects at Catawba.

Potential Impact 

By implementing just one of Gonnella’s projects -- scheduling new temperature set points and setbacks in 11 buildings on campus -- could save Catawba $45,000 on energy costs annually with zero capital cost In all, Gonnella identified eight projects that could reduce annual energy costs by $100,000, cut almost 2 million kWh of electricity, and avoid 800 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

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