hope college > sustainable hope   

Why we are called to be good stewards of our resources:
Campus Ministries
What Hope does:
Energy Conservation
Paper Reduction
Dining Services
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Carbon Sequestration
Help us be good stewards:
Suggestion Box
Further resources:
Green Events
Green Links
Contact Us


Energy Conservation


Martha MillerDeVos interior

  • Martha Miller Center, DeVos Fieldhouse, Lubbers Hall, and Graves Hall have lighting controls with motion sensors and building automation scheduling to turn off lights when unoccupied.

  • The DeVos Fieldhouse 500KVA transformer is “hot” only on a need to use basis (only a few hours per year for major events).

  • We specify new equipment and retrofit existing pump, elevator, and air handler motors with frequency drives or “soft start” motor starters to lower peak demand and energy consumption.

  • 80% of the 250 watt metal halide decorative sidewalk fixtures have been changed to an 85 watt Induction fixture. These fixtures last 100,000 hours, saving the college money on maintenance, bulb replacement, and reducing energy consumption by more than 60%.

  • Twenty-three cottages, Brumler Apartments, and Columbia Apartments have been changed over to the central campus 12Kv distribution system, which is on a lower electric rate.

  • New building transformers use environmentally safe non-PCB oil.

  • 100% of our lighting fixtures have been converted from T-12 bulbs to the more energy efficient T-8 bulbs (tens of thousands of bulbs). Energy savings give us a two to three year payback.

  • Hope is also in the process of changing out our 400 watt metal halide parking lot lighting to 200 watt LEDs. This is a 50,000 hour fixture, and a 50% savings on energy.

  • Hope is in the process of changing out incandescent lamps to low energy LED lamps or CFLs.

  • Hope has started a program of dimming down dorm hallway lights at night, unless motion is detected, then lights go to full bright.

  • Hope participates in the Holland Board of Public Works Energy Smart Rebate program

  • Hope has installed energy meters on its largest buildings and will eventually install meters on all buildings. This helps Hope to monitor usage, usage times, costs for operating buildings, and our carbon footprint. It also enables Hope to see where we can possibly shut certain non-essential equipment off at certain times to reduce peak demand charges.

  • The College's computer server infrastructure has transitioned almost entirely to a virtualized environment, reducing the number of physical CPU's in that area from 30+ to 6. This has substantially decreased both energy consumption and cooling costs. In addition, the number of UPS (battery backup) devices supporting that effort has decreased from 8 to 2, substantially reducing the energy overhead involved with supporting that redundancy.

  • Server and core network equipment have been moved from 120V to 208V service resulting in lower current draw and higher power efficiency.

  • In all student housing facilities, individual hard-wired network ports were completely replaced with wireless capability. The resulting reduction in back-room equipment decreased electrical consumption by as much as 85% in some locations.

Heating and Cooling


  • The college has reduced its natural gas use by 16% since 2008 through the management of its heating systems on campus.

  • Both the Martha Miller Center and the DeVos Fieldhouse meet ASHRAE 90.1 specifications with heat recovery on the building exhaust and night and weekend setbacks controlled by the Building Automation Computer.

  • The college reviews the natural gas industry reports and forecasts and pre-purchases natural gas as far out as five years. This protects the College against unusual spikes in rates.

  • We have installed temperature limiting thermostats, 72 degree max, in all cottages and apartments.

  • Dykstra Hall, Kollen Hall, Lubbers Hall, and Graves Hall have been remodeled with thermal pane windows and better zone heating controls.

  • As we replace furnaces in cottages and apartments we have gone from 78% efficient to 94% efficient models. We have replaced approximately 50% of these furnaces to date.

  • In all academic, administrative and residential buildings (which are on our central heating plant system) – we have lowered the heating water temperature between 10 and 20 degrees.

  • Approximately 25% of the closed loop heating systems have filtration units installed making those systems more efficient.

Pine groveArial view of campus

  • DePree Art Building has a heat recovery system on the paint studio exhaust and make-up air system.

  • During Christmas break, every cottage and apartment turns down the thermostats to 60 degrees. Academic and residential building thermostats are lowered to 60 degrees as allowed by equipment and experiment requirements.

  • College East apartments is running one heating pump instead of the two normally in use.

  • We have been replacing HVAC equipment with the more energy efficient models with frequency drives and more efficient cooling coils.

  • The college has changed all of our steam traps on campus to “Steamguard” units. These units save approximately 13% of our natural gas consumption over standard traps. The total replacement of steam traps on campus, funded through the operating budget, will have a three year payback.

  • In the past five years, we have replaced two old inefficient “Wickes” Boilers with two new “Johnston Boilers” as part of the Science Center building project. All four boilers are now high efficiency units.

  • All mercury thermostats in cottages are being replaced with electronic thermostats (approximately 60% completed to date).