The main campus at the University of Utah uses approximately 265,796,333 kilowatt hours of electricity from Rocky Mountain Power annually and spends roughly $25 million on electricity and natural gas per year. Because most of our energy comes from fossil fuel sources such as coal and natural gas, building energy use is the primary contributor to our carbon footprint.
More than 69% of campus greenhouse gas emissions are a result of activities within our buildings such as lighting, heating and cooling so Energy Management is focusing their efforts primarily on building energy use. With this quantity of consumption, there is much work to be done to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. You can help this effort by turning off lights around campus in unoccupied spaces and shutting down your computer at night.Energy management at the University focuses on everything from occupant behavioral changes to energy efficiency upgrades and installation of renewable technologies in order to save energy as well as create it sustainably.
The University of Utah has a natural gas fired co-generation plant on campus that produces electricity from the waste heat coming from boilers used to make hot water for campus. In addition, several buildings on campus sport solar photovoltaic and hot water systems and older, more energy intensive technologies such as light fixtures are being replaced with newer ones all the time.
This department acts as a resource to University departments wishing to implement energy saving and renewable technologies. They have been tasked with achieving the University commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge, which commits the University to reducing energy use by 20% by 2020.