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Center for

Environment & Society

Energy Programs

Our vision is a Chesapeake Bay and watershed that is healthy and thriving; one in which natural systems and human communities are in balance. Interdisciplinary academic programs promote the integration of environmental issues, social values, and good old river mud.

The Rural Energy Project


Climate change is here. But the municipalities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore are taking steps to combat these changes. The Rural Energy Project at Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society is creating a more resilient energy grid, overcoming barriers to clean energy adoption, researching efforts to ready our rural communities for a clean energy future, and helping the region’s rural municipalities cut their energy consumption. 


Our Energy Baselines Initiative (EBI) works with rural towns to help them understand patterns in their energy consumption and identify ways to bring down both costs and environmental impact. All while providing Washington College students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in our Student Energy Analysis Lab (SEAL).

The Barriers to Clean Energy Initiative (BCEI) uses the tools of Sociology, Psychology, and Anthropology to identify missteps in the development of clean energy and educate community, industry, and governmental leaders on how best to overcome them.

With our Revealing Energy Vulnerabilities Initiative (REVIVE), we are partnering to use Geographic Information Systems, emergency response systems, electrical engineering, and systems engineering to identify which communities are the most vulnerable to energy black/brown out events and increase their energy resilience. 

These efforts have yielded great successes for our partners. Our baseline work has led Centreville to provide 75% of their municipal power with solar power while saving money for taxpayers. We partnered with Easton and determined they reduced emissions from their streetlights by 20%. We also helped the Town of Chestertown understand how their solar array and third-party energy supplier are affecting their financial bottom line. 

For more information, click here.

Campus Energy Dashboard

In an effort to reduce energy use on campus, the Center for Environment & Society is working to install meters on 16 campus buildings, including dorms. CES and the Student Environmental Alliance are working to develop an electricity use contest among the students to see whose dorm can be the most energy efficient.

Click here to visit the energy dashboard, please keep in mind this site is a work in progress as we continue to work on our meters around campus. 

Electrical Vehicle Charging Project

CES and Washington College are committed to providing our students and visitors with practical solutions for Electric Vehicles. In association with Tesla, CES is working to install electric vehicle charging stations at various points across campus. We are fulfilling our commitment to clean transportation and dedicating ourselves to the clean energy future our students deserve.

Sustainability at WC