Although there are more buildings on campus than ever, the College expects to pay less to heat them this winter than last.
With the help of an energy consultant firm, the College anticipated last fall's dip in fuel prices, and when the price became right, it locked in its energy costs for this year and next.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the price of No. 2 heating oil has not been as low as it is now since May 2005. Aware of such a volatile energy market, Bowdoin moved to insure itself against price hikes during the next heating season.
Director of Finance & Campus Services Delwin Wilson wrote in an e-mail to the Orient that Bowdoin has "secured 100 percent of our energy pricing for both [the 2008-09 fiscal year and the 2009-10 fiscal year] and did so within our established utility budgets for those fiscal years."
This year, the College has budgeted $2.1 million for heating costs. The price, which is a $100,000 decrease from last year's spending on heat, will pay for No. 2 heating oil, natural gas, and biodiesel.
Though the market price of fuel is the largest factor in determining the price of heating the campus, the College has taken a number of other steps to reduce costs.
Director of Facilities Operations and Maintenance Ted Stam wrote in an e-mail to the Orient that in recent years, the College "has lowered the set points [of building thermostats] to 68 [degrees Fahrenheit]" and that "unoccupied spaces are set to lower set points at night when appropriate."
According to Stam, each degree that the heat is lowered will reduce the overall cost of heating by 3 percent.
While first year Tom Marcello said that he has "no issue with the heating," fellow first year Megumi Ishizuka said, "I think it should be higher—I'm cold all the time!"