Shaw University

At a Glance


College or University

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Engagement and Behavior Change




Raleigh, NC

Eliza Davis and Jennifer Weiss spent their summer as EDF Climate Corps fellows at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1865, Shaw is a private, co-ed, liberal arts university, as well as the first historically black college in the South. The fellows worked with Shaw’s leadership to analyze existing energy usage and recommend custom energy efficiency initiatives to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Over the course of ten weeks, Davis and Weiss analyzed HVAC, lighting, office equipment and computer labs in Shaw’s 29 buildings, including dorms, offices and classrooms. The fellows identified11 projects, including PC and copier power management, consolidation of office equipment, temperature setbacks in dormitories and lighting upgrades. For lighting retrofits, Davis and Weiss set priorities based on the greatest savings and rebates. In all, lighting projects could save about $23,000 per year with an average payback period of 0.3 years. In addition to the energy efficiency projects, the fellows also recommended that Shaw consider hiring a sustainability director to coordinate all green initiatives and funding.

Shaw University could reduce annual costs by over $127,000 and save more than one million kWh per year – enough to power 123 homes. Additionally, carbon emissions could be cut by 685 tons annually, equivalent to taking 115 cars off the road each year.

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