Winston-Salem State University

At a Glance


College or University

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Engagement and Behavior Change




Winston-Salem, NC

Matthew Peck and Michelle Williams spent their summers as EDF Climate Corps fellows at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a historically black university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The university wants to be carbon neutral by 2050, and the fellows analyzed energy conservation measures beyond the steps already taken. Peck and Williams worked with the university’s Sustainability Department to find ways to reduce energy consumption and expenses in residence halls and academic buildings, as well as generate engagement with energy efficiency.

Peck and Williams sought out ways for WSSU’s residence halls to run at optimal energy usage levels during the summertime. The fellows’ summer plan included thermostat setbacks, energy efficiency education, and building HVAC shutdown, all of which are no-cost options. After conducting a pilot study in Dillard Hall that involved deactivation of all thermostats and chill water pumps, Peck and Williams determined kWh savings of 58% during a residence hall HVAC shutdown. Around WSSU’s campus, the fellows investigated lighting alternatives, such as LEDs, that would consume up to 90% less energy than the existing lamps.

If all of the fellows' projects are implemented, the university could save over $535,000 in annual energy costs, cut electricity use by more than 10 million kWh per year, and reduce carbon emissions by 5,500 metric tons annually.

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