Climate Change and Energy

Climate Change and Energy
Greenhouse gas emissions reduction is the key sustainability goal as the University seeks to understand and reduce its contribution to climate change. The University has a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent (20%) by 2025. Greenhouse gas emissions are tied to all major campus operations including, buildings, transportation, waste, food, landscape, and procurement. Each of these areas are being targeted for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, with energy efficiency in buildings as the top priority.

Energy Management Program Overview
The Energy Management Program consists of strategically applied enhanced maintenance processes that result in sustainable energy savings without compromise to comfort within campus facilities. The program includes five areas:

  1. Multi-Building: Campus-wide energy reduction activities that can be implemented quickly with minimal consequences to other building systems. These are independent measures and require no detailed engineering analysis.
  2. Top 30 Buildings: A strategy that focuses on performing energy optimization, preventative and deferred maintenance, and identifying capital energy efficiency projects for the University’s highest energy consumption buildings. The top 30 University buildings in terms of energy consumption represent 80 percent (80%) of total campus energy consumption.
  3. Bottom 60 Buildings: Utilize ComEd incentives or consultants to perform quick energy audits of remaining campus buildings. Remaining buildings use minimal energy compared to Top 30, but still have opportunities to reduce energy waste.
  4. Energy Projects: Implement capital energy efficiency projects that are found during Top 30, Bottom 60 work, and one-off energy projects that are found during retro-commissioning analysis and solve building problems. These one-off energy projects are designed to solve the root cause of operational issues and save energy.
  5. Central Utility Plants: Energy projects and optimization that occur at the steam and chilled water central plants. Central plants are the largest energy users, because they provide heating and cooling to major portions of UChicago campus.