Why Mac-minis?

According to Glenn Gilbert, utilities manager and sustainability coordinator, the computer lab in the Union has normally been air-conditioned year-round to compensate for the heat generated by the computers.  Since the Mac-minis have been installed, said Gilbert, “We are now hoping that when the outdoor temperature falls below the mid-forties, we won’t have to air condition.”

Although it is difficult to know for sure exactly how much energy will be saved, two large pumps necessary to distribute chilled water will be turned off, resulting in a conservative estimated saving of at least $3,000 this winter on energy bills, on top of earlier calculations that showed that the Mac-mini conversion would save about $8,000 per year in electrical usage, said Gilbert.

The conversion has more than monetary benefits, though. Gilbert said, “Perhaps a more interest currency then $11,000 dollars is the fact that approximately 80 tons of coal won’t need to be mined to power our computers this year or over 200 tons of carbon dioxide won’t contribute to global warming as a result of this change.”

Last year, the school’s electrical consumption was the lowest it’s been since the 1992-93 school year, according to Gilbert.  These changes will only help GC’s energy consumptions for the upcoming year.

Consumption Numbers for July ’09-June ’10:

  • Electric consumption: 5,392,000 kwh
  • Electric bill: $400,284
  • Gas consumption: 28,640.4 decatherms
  • Gas bill: $275,115
  • Total energy bill: $675,399

This is the lowest electrical consumption since 1992-93, the lowest electrical bill since 2000-01, and the lowest gas bill since 2002-03.
Gilbert said, “At 7.34 kilowatt hour per square foot per year, this is the lowest electrical consumption per square foot since before I started keeping records back in 1990. Back in 2003-04 it was 11.34 kilowatt hour per square foot.”

Alysha Landis
Written by Alysha Landis

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