For an overview of the energy industry as well as the production and procurement of energy on campus, start here: "Campus Energy 101" Presentation
How much energy does the campus consume?
Each year, the campus uses over 2,600,000 MBTU of energy for heat (steam) and electricity. Most of that energy is produced on campus in the combined heat and power plant, which simultaneously generates steam and electricity from natural gas. Click on the following links to view yearly and monthly usage data for the campus since 2006:Campus Electric Usage Campus Natural Gas Usage Campus Water Usage
If you would like more information about the energy consumption within a particular building, please contact us.
What are the steps the University needs to take in order to achieve "carbon neutrality"? Does the University have a target date for reaching its goals?
In 2007, the University formed a group of faculty, staff, and students, called the Climate Action Plan Work Group, to develop the strategic plan for reaching carbon neutrality. That Work Group is right now finishing the draft of that plan which will go to President Mote for his consideration. The plan includes hundreds of strategies for reducing carbon emissions in categories including administrative policies, power and operations, transportation, solid waste, and education and research. The final Climate Action Plan will be released in fall 2009. Currently, the target date for reaching carbon neutrality is 2050.
Does the University currently promote energy-conserving methods, or use conservation methods in their buildings?
Many energy and water conservation methods are being employed on campus. See the 2010 Campus Sustainability Report for more info.
Why don't we use more solar panels on campus?
While solar energy may be in the campus's future, it is currently an inefficient use of money. Since the goal is carbon reduction, the money you would spend on solar panels would reduce much more carbon if it were used on energy efficient upgrades, such as high efficiency lighting. Whereas solar panels have a payback period of 10-20 years, a lighting retrofit can payback within 2 years. The University's Energy Office is in the business of evaluating cost effective means of reducing emissions and they are agressively pursuing the low hanging fruit.