Profiles in Energy: Montgomery College’s Building Operation During Covid-19

June 4, 2020

The Department of Environmental Protection spoke to the Energy Management Team at Montgomery College to learn about their efforts to adapt campus operations and building energy consumption during the unforeseen global health crisis. The Team, consisting of Daniel Dalgo, Crissie Manfre, and Mike Whitcomb, share their response and their results:

The Energy Management Team at Montgomery College continuously tracks the energy performance of buildings across the three campuses and off campus sites. The College’s building portfolio consist of 49 buildings and approximately 3 million Gross Square Feet (GSF).

On March 13, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the College rapidly and successfully transitioned to remote teaching-learning and remote working with limited access to the campuses. Since then, campuses and buildings have been unoccupied except for essential personnel. The College organized the Coronavirus Advisory Team (CAT), responsible for monitoring and responding to this health crisis.

Due to the limited campus occupancy, the Energy Management Team requested all buildings operate in an unoccupied mode. Unoccupied mode means that Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are idle and all non-essential lighting and other electricity consuming systems are off. As a result, the College has reduced its electricity (kWh) consumption by approximately 35% for April and May 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019 and reduced its utility cost by approximately $120,000 in each month.

The Energy Management Team continues to monitor energy performance and advise on minimizing consumption while maintaining sufficient HVAC to limit building exposure to excessive heat and high humidity levels during the summer period. System operations will be tailored to meet what is expected to be an eventual return to controlled and reduced occupancy. Utility consumption, maintenance response and therefore costs will undoubtedly remain lower than previous operating periods.

To learn more about Montgomery College’s Energy Team and their sustainability and conservation efforts visit

To share your own energy savings story, contact DEP at

2 comments on "Profiles in Energy: Montgomery College’s Building Operation During Covid-19"

  1. Alemayehu (Alex) says:

    Thank you for your information and email.
    I appreciate what has been doing by the energy management team such a monitoring activity on energy consumption. Really great job. if i am not mistaken, I hope your recommendations will result reduction of energy consumption of the college to go down to about 25%.
    Its also good if you discussed with other government and private organizations in order to lower their costs in energy consumption through minimizing unnecessary energy consumption. So that, your effort will have a chained and multi-dimensional effect.

    With kind regards

    1. John M Pohlhaus says:

      Shouldn’t we be looking at a greater reduction than 35% if the buildings are essentially shut down. No office or lab computers on, no lights on, HVAC should be cut way back…why are we impressed with a 35% reduction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *