Programs

Energy

The Path to Carbon Neutrality

Energy plays an integral role in almost all that we do and underlies the fabric of our society. For most institutions, energy consumption is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global climate change. Global climate change is having myriad negative impacts throughout the world, including increased frequency and potency of extreme weather events, sea level rise, species extinction, water shortages, declining agricultural production, ocean acidification, and spread of diseases, among many others. Implementing energy conservation measures and switching to renewable sources of energy are critical steps to reducing our energy demand and the impacts of its use. At Furman, we are committed to becoming carbon-neutral in our operations by 2026. 

Did You Know?

The Physical Activities Center (PAC) is home to a large solar thermal system that generates hot water for the building. The roof also holds a 95 kW solar photovoltaic array, and the elliptical machines are equipped with ReRev technology, which harnesses energy from working out!

The Furman Solar farm is a 743 kw five-acre solar array just outside the front gate of campus. The array generates power to account, on average, for 5% of the university’s annual electricity needs, although at times is providing as much as 20% of the university’s electricity.

Since 2013, the North Village apartments, which house upperclass students, run on highly efficient geothermal ground-source heat pumps, which take advantage of the constant temperature of the earth to pre-heat or pre-cool air for ventilation. 

The Shi Institute displays five types of photovoltaic panels: monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels, solar thin film, bifacial panels, and a dual-axis pole-mounted solar tracker.

The Admissions Office tour trolleys are electric and powered by solar panels located on the roof of the vehicles.

What’s Next?

We continue to look for ways to reduce our energy usage, improve our energy efficiency, and source more renewable energies. We are currently:

  • Working with our energy provider to purchase more renewable sources of energy for our electricity.
  • Drafting a “no idling” policy to improve outdoor air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Conducting energy audits of campus facilities in an effort to identify opportunities for energy savings.
  • Converting our campus lighting to LEDs.