Energy News

  • Shut the Sash: Behavior awareness program impacts campus sustainability: The University of the Chicago Physical Sciences Division has expanded a program dedicated to addressing energy use reduction throughout all facilities that have chemical fume hoods. 
  • Sustainability reception brings campus partners together: Members of the University community, including students, faculty, and staff, convened at the David Rubenstein Forum on May 11 for a sustainability reception to celebrate the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award, achieved by the University for the second year in a row.
  • Laboratory Projects Reduce Energy:  Laboratory facilities have been a focal point of the UChicago energy management efforts as they are responsible for 40% of the University’s energy consumption. Recently completed PM+Cx projects at the Biopsychological Research Building, Zoology Building, and Jones Laboratory significantly reduced energy use and improved building performance.
  • The University of Chicago awarded 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award: The University of Chicago is proud to announce that it has received the 2022 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.
  • Smart Labs Program Reduces Energy Use at GCIS: The Smart Labs program at GCIS has reduced energy consumption, improved occupant comfort, improved lab safety, and increased the resiliency of this critical building.
  • DOE Better Climate Challenge: The University of Chicago joined the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Climate Challenge as an inaugural partner in March 2022. 
  • 2022 ENERGY STAR® Residence Hall Energy Competition: During the month of April, seven University Residence Halls battled it out to see who could save the most energy and water in the 2022 Battle of the Buildings Energy Challenge.

  • University of Chicago Releases New Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan: On April 22, 2022, the University released a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan to meets its goal—previously announced in April 2020—to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. The plan focuses on energy conservation measures in campus buildings, as well as renewable energy procurement and onsite renewable opportunities like solar panels and heat recovery chillers.

  • Kitchen Exhaust Upgrade: Kitchen exhaust systems in three campus dining facilities received an energy-efficient upgrade last summer
  • Campus Student Life installs high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® laundry appliances: In a campus-wide effort to reduce energy and water consumption, the University of Chicago recently replaced over 220 washer/dryer units throughout residence halls and staff apartments with high efficiency machines.
  • Environmental Frontiers (EF) Campus Laboratory Energy Conservation: Part of the Spring/Summer cohort of student researchers focused on the Campus Labs Project.
  • South Steam Plant LED Lighting Replacement Project: The South Steam Plant recently completed a replacement of 341 aging fluorescent and metal halide lights with new LED vapor tight fixtures designed to operate in the harsh conditions of a utility plant.
  • Condensate Recovery Project at GCISAn opportunity to reduce water consumption was recently identified at the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Center for Integrative Science (GCIS).
  • Energy Efficiency Tips for Students: There are plenty of simple, low- and no-cost actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and help UChicago achieve its greenhouse gas emissions goals. 
  • 2021 Battle of the Buildings Energy Challenge: Six University of Chicago Residence Halls battled it out to see who could save the most energy and water in the 2021 Battle of the Buildings Energy Challenge! 
  • Energy Project at Chapin Hall reduces energy consumption by 16%: Chapin Hall reduces energy consumption through retro-commissioning project
  • Environmental Frontiers (EF) Campus Water Conservation: EF-Campus cohort advances campus sustainability through water conservation collaboration
  • Energy Program Impact To-Date: On the path to a 50% reduction in absolute GHG emissions by 2030. 
  • Campus-wide thermal insulation project: Expected to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1,700 MT eCO2
  • Energy Savings Project at Saieh Hall: The energy project at Saieh Hall cuts University greenhouse gas emissions by 318 metric tons eCO2 per year.
  • Energy Project at GCIS:  Energy conservation measures reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Gordon Center for Integrative Science (GCIS)
  • Fume Hood Optimization Project: Searle Chemistry Laboratory reduces Searle’s Energy Use Intensity by 24%.
  • Sustainability in Residence Halls Part 1: A University of Chicago guide to sustainable living in the Residence Halls
  • Sustainability in Residence Halls Part 2: A University of Chicago guide to sustainable living in the Residence Halls
  • Energy Savings Project at the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center: LED lighting retrofits and energy conservation measures reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve lighting quality and reduce ongoing operational costs.
  • Energy Savings Project at the Anatomy Building: As part of the ongoing initiative to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the University of Chicago recently completed an energy savings project at the Anatomy Building.
  • Press Building Retrocommissioning: The team identified and executed four system improvement measures that reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, reduced the risk of disruptions due to system failure, and improved occupant comfort.
  • Updated GHG Emissions Target: The University of Chicago is targeting deeper cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions, setting a goal of a 50% reduction across University operations by 2030.
  • WCCUP Student Tour: Recently, first-year student sustainability ambassadors participated in a walking tour of the West Campus Combined Utility Plant (WCCUP). The WCCUP provides cooling and heating to the University’s expanding collection of north campus research and medical buildings.
  • Bartlett Lighting Upgrade: Facilities Services installed over 570 LED retrofits in the Bartlett Dining Commons that reduced lighting energy use by over 50%, improved color resolution and light levels, and reduced failure rates resulting in long-term operational and maintenance cost savings to the University.  
  • Searle Excellence in Engineering Award: On behalf of The University of Chicago, Adam D’Ambrosio, Brian Bozell, and Alfredo Izguerra accepted the 2019 Excellence in Engineering Award for the Searle Chemistry LaboratoryPreventative Maintenance and Commissioning project.
  • Keller Center Award: On behalf of The University of Chicago, Felix Leen, chief mechanical engineer, accepted the 2019 Excellence in Engineering Award for the Keller Center.
  • Cutting the Carbon Footprint in UChicago Labs: Student-driven changes in laboratories at UChicago yield energy and cost savings
  • Mansueto Library Award: The University of Chicago’s Joe and  Rika Mansueto Library received the 2019 Retrofit Chicago Mayor’s Leadership Circle Award for exceeding the 20% energy reduction goal
  • Regenstein Library Award: The University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library received the 2018 Retrofit Chicago Mayor’s Leadership Circle Award for exceeding the 20% energy reduction goal
  • Winter Cooling Energy Savings: As part of the ENERGY STAR® initiative, The University of Chicago’s Facilities Services (FS) department recently completed optimization of the chilled water system to reduce energy usage when outside air temperatures drop below 45F (Free Cooling)
  • Law School Retrocommissioning: The UChicago Energy Team identified and executed 12 system improvements that reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, reduced the risk of disruptions due to system failure, and improved occupant comfort at the Law School.
  • Walkway Lighting Upgrade: As part of the Poulsen LED Retrofit, the University of Chicago’s Facilities Services recently completed the installation of over 800 LED replacement lamps in the Poulsen lights throughout campus.