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Energy Efforts

SolTrain, built by students, staff, and faculty and funded by the President's Sustainability Fund, has 1kW of photovoltaic panels and can power a party or other large event.

Pomona Hall includes a rooftop classroom area for curricular integration of the building's solar systems.

A variety of residence hall laundry rooms now include drying racks for carbon neutral clothes drying!

Renewable energy

  • On-Campus Solar PV The College has 361.9 kW of solar photovoltaic arrays - Richard C. Seaver Biology Building (2.5 kW), Lincoln-Edmunds Buildings (88.2 kW), Pomona Hall (56.7 kW), Sontag Hall (25.025 kW), South Campus Athletic Facility/Parking structure (80.52 kW), and Grounds Facility (109 kW).
  • On-Campus Solar Thermal The College has two solar hot water heating installations - North Campus Residence Halls (347 Mbtu/year) and Pendleton Pool (1,143 Mbtu/year).
  • SolTrain This mobile 1kW solar array was built by students, staff, and faculty and can be used to power your event! In the past it has powered a fashion show, numerous bands and DJs, and an art exhibit.

Appliances and Plug Load

  • Energy Star-certified Appliances The College is committed to purchasing Energy Star-certified energy-efficient appliances whenever available and financially reasonable. This includes laundry equipment, computers, refrigerators, and a variety of office equipment. See more about this policy on the Energy Star Policy page.


  • Compact fluorescent lighting program Since 2007, CFLs are available for free for students, staff, and faculty through the Sustainability Integration Office.
  • Daylighting and light controls To reduce the College's energy needs for lighting, recent construction projects have emphasized the need for daylighting, including skylights and strategically placed windows. The College also uses occupancy and motion sensors to make sure lights are not on unnecessarily. 


  • Energy-efficient laundry Almost all laundry machines on campus, including those for housekeeping, are Energy Star-certified.
  • Drying rack program Drying racks are installed in many residence hall laundry rooms. Drying racks are also available for use in students' rooms through the Sustainability Integration Office checkout program.
  • Green Laundry guides Students can now find the following three signs in all laundry rooms on campus: Doing Your Laundry the Green Way [doc] , General Laundry Tips [doc] , and Drying Racks Q&A [doc] .


  • "Sleep" program for all college computers All College-owned computers are set to go into "sleep" mode after a period of no use.
  • Server virtualization ITS has "virtualized" server technology that had previously put a huge load on the campus' energy grid. One larger server has replaced each eight smaller servers, including equipment that is not only more energy-efficient but that produces less AC-requiring heat. 
  • Energy Star computer "fleet" All college-owned computers are Energy Star certified (unless special technology for specific functions).
  • Outsourced e-mail In outsourcing student email to an off-site company, ITS has shifted the energy load to a site with much more efficient, economy-of-scale technology.
  • CRT monitor replacement ITS has replaced all campus CRT monitors with more efficient flat-screen models.
  • Data center design ITS' data center and server rooms have been designed for efficiency, including racks that face a center aisle and cooling that focuses on that center aisle alone, greatly reducing AC load for that part of the facility.


  • New electricity meters Pomona has replaced almost every electricity meter on campus, installing new, network-linked, real-time meters that send data to a central system at 15-minute intervals and provide ongoing feedback about building performance and electricity use. Additional information, including accurate building-level metering and gas and water use, will be added to these meters in the future.
  • Utility partnership and rebate programs The College participates in a wide variety of energy efficiency programs through Southern California Edison, the electricity utility. These programs pertain to construction and renovation projects and to the installation of new and more efficient technologies and equipment.
  • HVAC adjustments The College routinely performs adjustments of the heating and air conditioning systems, including energy setbacks at night, to ensure energy efficiency. In 2010-11, Facilities and Campus Services assessed heating and air conditioning schedules for buildings across campus, ensuring buildings were not heated or cooled when unnecessary.
  • Heating and cooling guidelines Pomona College has set temperature guidelines for buildings to help conserve energy at the thermostat and from the building automated system.  Read the guidelines here [pdf] .
  • Cool roofs A number of buildings on campus include roofing or other materials designed specifically to reduce the "heat island effect," and thus cooling loads for the buildings. Richard C. Seaver Biology Building and the Lincoln-Edmunds Buildings in particular include these features.
  • Thermal energy storage The Seaver Science Complex is chilled by a central chiller plant with an underground thermal energy storage system, which significantly reduces the energy needs for cooling the buildings.


  • POWER DOWN dorm energy challenge Last year, all Pomona residence halls reduced electricity use by 3% during the three week competition in March and April, saving 4,715 kWh and earning a Some Crust cookie party for the winning dorm. Clark III won Pomona’s dorm competition by reducing their electricity use by 10.5%.  Pomona’s overall 3% reduction was second to Harvey Mudd’s impressive 18.4% reduction, winning the Green Cup for the 5C Claremont Colleges competition.
  • Light switch stickers The College has produced over 3,500 stickers to place on lightswitch plates to remind people to turn off the lights. Download the sticker.
  • The Little Green Book sustainable living guide provides students with a variety of valuable tips on reducing their environmental impacts, including their energy use. See the Students section for guide content in web page form, or download the guide [pdf] .