Dartmouth College

At a Glance


College or University

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Clean and Renewable Energy, Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Hanover, NH


Molly C. Johnson evaluated different energy supply options that could enable Dartmouth College to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.


Dartmouth College enlisted Molly C. Johnson to work with the Office of Sustainability to devise tactics and strategies that could be implemented to achieve the energy-efficiency goals proposed in the College’s new Sustainability Action Plan. These goals include greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 against a 2010 baseline, in addition to increasing on-site renewable energy generation.


Before presenting the Sustainability Action Plan for College leadership to sign off on the new goals, the Dartmouth Energy Working Group needed know how they might achieve them. Johnson created resources describing tactics including green building standards, energy-efficient technologies like heat pumps and creative project financing options.

In collaboration with Christina Wildt, the other EDF Climate Corps fellow at Dartmouth, Johnson compared the pros and cons of changing the fuel at the College’s Heating and Power Plant from No. 6 fuel oil to No. 2 fuel oil, natural gas or biomass. This assessment of energy generation alternatives evaluated each option based on seven criteria: risk, cost, operational constraints, regulatory constraints, sustainability leadership, greenhouse gas emissions and local and regional impacts. These considerations were the precursor to modeling four strategies for Dartmouth to make significant changes to the campus energy system in order to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Each strategy was modeled based on all four thermal fuel options to demonstrate the range of achievable emissions reductions.

Potential Impact

The sixteen strategy scenarios modeled vary greatly in the greenhouse gas emissions reductions they might generate. The most aggressive strategy has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 26 to 66 percent, depending on the fuel type. At the high end, this surpasses the College’s goal for 2025 and sets Dartmouth well on its way to reaching the proposed target for 2050.

Related Links