Valerie Hoffman

Look at Yurts & Dirts!

Final Week of the Energy Competition

Congratulations to Currier hall for winning week 3!!!! Upper St Regis Hall has won the 2017 Energy Competition!! Overall we saved 2,095 kWh of electricity. How awesome is that?! Behavioral changes can make a huge impact on electricity bills. Have a wonderful summer and keep saving energy!!!

Watts up with that? Borrow a Kill-A-Watt Meter from the PSC Library!

You can borrow more than just books from the PSC Library now! Kill-A-Watt Meters are now available at the PSC Library. So, are you low on beer money? Is your beer fridge empty and still plugged in? Have you ever wondered how much electricity your fridge uses? Or charging your phone takes? What about how much electricity is being used to sit back and watch Netflix all day? We have the solution to your questions. You can now borrow a Watt-Meter from the Paul Smith’s College Library and find out just how much electricity it takes to charge your phone! See how much beer money you could have if you just unplugged the fridge while it was empty! Watt meters are made available through the Library right from the front desk. We challenge you to save as much energy as you can and send us your results!

Residence Hall Energy Info Displayed on the Flat Screen in the Student Center

Check out the display on the flat screen in the Student Center this month- April 1st to April 22nd. We are running our fifth annual Energy Conservation Competition. Electric meters were purchased and installed in all 15 residence halls on campus in 2013 by student Jon Buyl. The goal of the energy meters was to show that changes in behavior can make a big difference in how much electricity is used on campus. This was a $43,000 project that was funded by the Campus Sustainability Fund.  Below is a description of what the colors represent. All color changes are based on BASELINE data that has been collected throughout the semester.


Red: Legend will read “Worst Energy Use.”  This value is a KW/sqft value which is above the “High Energy Use” value (yellow).  This boils down to the worst performing buildings at any current time.  Students should react to this by working to shut off devices to lower their present demand and move them into the “yellow”

Yellow: Legend will read “High Energy Use.”  This value is a KW/sqft value which is above the neutral building load value (Brown) but not as high as those in red.  To summarize, these buildings are use more energy than the neutral and students should be working to move these buildings back down into the “Neutral Building Load” range.

Brown: Legend will read “Neutral Building Load.”  This value is a KW/sqft value which falls in an acceptable range (tbd) of energy use.  Students in this range should be concerned that they possibly could jump into the Yellow if additional load occurs.  They should be working to get below this range and turn their background Blue which would show low energy use in their building.

Blue: Legend will read “Low Energy Use.”  This value is a KW/sqft value which demonstrates the building is performing better than the average (Brown) building.  Students who live here, should be excited that they are doing their part in conserving energy, but should continue to push forward to get their building into the Green.

Green: Legend will read “Best Energy Use.”  This value is a KW/sqft value which demonstrates the building is performing in the best range possible.  Students who live in these buildings should continue to do what they are doing in their conservation efforts and should be proud that their buildings are in this range.  The buildings that spend the most time in this Green range will have the best chances to win the overall prize.


Total KWH- This value is Total KWH for the building.  This is a value that is accumulated continually.

KWH/sq/ft – This value is Total KWH divided by sq/ft per building.  This is a value that is accumulated continually.  This gives an overall equal playing field no matter the size of the building.  This will be the value which will continue to be accumulated over the month to award the overall winner of the Green Games Contest.

KW/sq/ft- This value is based off of present demand.  This value is the driver for the changing colors throughout the day.  This value is changed in intervals of every 15 minutes.  To sum this up, if the colors are going to change, the changes will occur once every 15 minutes based on the current usage in each building.


March for Science


We will be kicking off this years 3rd annual SAMfest (Science Art and Music Festival) at Paul Smiths College VIC with our very own “March For Science”. The march will start at 10am, April 22nd. We will meet in the parking lot across the street from the campus entrance and march to the VIC. Please get there before 10am. There will be parking on campus, across the street from the main entrance, and at the VIC. Please dress appropriately it will be a walk in the woods in the Adirondacks in late April. Before the event we encourage you to make posters. It is important to keep in mind that this is a march for SCIENCE, we want to put forward a positive message with a strong showing to start off the day.

In order for this to happen we need people. This is a reminder for you to spread the word until the event. It is happening Earth day April 22! Tell your friends, family, friends of your family, family of your friends, strangers, pets, other students, students from your local schools and anyone else you can possibly think of. This was Curt Stagers idea so drop that name if you have to get people to go.

Planting Trees One Search At A Time

Wouldn’t it be awesome to help plant trees by simply using a search engine?  Since 2009, the German-based company Ecosia has been doing just that.  With the power of Microsoft’s Bing, Ecosia is an extension compatible with many web-browsers which makes Ecosia the default search engine.

Whenever a search engine is used, a small profit is generated for the company owning the engine through advertisements when a link is clicked.  For Microsoft and Google, these profits go to the growth of their respective companies.  However with Ecosia, 80% of their profits go towards planting trees!  In fact, Ecosia has planted over 6 million trees since 2009 all because everyday people simply searched for everyday things using their search engine.  My favorite feature on the website is their “Tree Counter” which displays the estimated amount of trees you have helped plant by using Ecosia (I’m over 50 trees just over the course of a couple of months).
With all of the searches which happen on campus everyday, we can help plant thousands of trees incredibly quickly if we could make this the default browser on campus.  The quality of the searches would be exactly the same as Bing, and we would be helping a cause which puts the planet before profits.  Perhaps more importantly, it will encourage students to download Ecosia on their personal computers so the idea of Ecosia will spread off campus to the community as well.
The link to their website is  I hope everybody takes a minute to check it out!

Pellet Boiler Update

The pellet boiler on campus is currently  not operational. Paul Smith’s College is in the process of acquiring the pellet boiler from NYSERDA. The company that was incharge of the pellet boiler went bankrupt. We will be training an in house staff to  preform maintenance and upkeep. There are also corrective work that needs to be done to fix the system from being inactive. The projected date of use is winter 2018.