ENERGY STAR® Partnership

The University of Chicago is proud to announce that it has received the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year (ESPOY) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Each year, the ENERGY STAR program honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. ENERGY STAR Award Winners lead their industries in the production, sale, and adoption of energy-efficient products, services, and strategies. These efforts are essential to fighting the climate crisis and protecting public health.

Winners are selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. For a complete list of 2021 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit  To learn more about what it means to become an ENERGY STAR Partner, check out this video.

Energy Star Partner Video link Image

Executing energy efficiency projects in 2020 presented a challenge as on-campus activity was curtailed for several months while most employees worked remotely due to COVID-19. The energy audits completed used remote monitoring technology through campus building automation systems, with targeted follow-up functional performance tests on-site when possible. Despite the challenging circumstances created by the pandemic, University buildings achieved a 13% reduction in site energy use intensity (EUI) in 2020.

UChicago follows the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management and relies on Portfolio Manager® to track usage,  identify improvement opportunities and validate successes, including the 102 measures initiated and/or completed during the 2020 calendar year that are projected to reduce energy consumption by 99,700 MMBTU and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 6,850 MTeCO2. UChicago anticipates a 5% reduction in total campus GHG emissions as a result of these initiatives. Some highlights that contributed to the 2021 ESPOY award include:

UChicago has a strong commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. In 2020, UChicago established a goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. The new Facilities Services energy website highlights sustainability efforts, recent energy conservation awards from Retrofit Chicago and the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter, and our proud partnership with ENERGY STAR. 

Why partner with ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is the internationally recognized standard for the independent monitoring of energy performance.  The University’s partnership with ENERGY STAR supports the existing efforts to reduce utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions with the following benefits