Energy Conservation

UES sustainability initiatives have led to significant energy savings across the campus. In 2010, as part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the university stated a goal of reducing energy use in buildings by 20% by FY15, as well as reaching a level of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Through the implementation of centralized conservation programs, the university surpassed its FY15 goals and is now working toward a 30% reduction by FY25.

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The award-winning Retrocommissioning (RCx) program plays a large part in F&S energy conservation success. This is followed by the breakthrough Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), which monetizes future energy cost reductions to fund conservation projects upfront. Additional centralized programs include the Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP), lighting retrofits, the use of LED lighting, energy recovery systems, and LEED certification programs.

Energy Alerts

Each year, the university’s utility rates are confirmed by campus leadership. The campus’ electricity rate is based on both power produced at Abbott Power Plant and power purchased from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) grid. MISO helps deliver electric power across 15 U.S. states, including Illinois, and Canada.

The University of Illinois is a MISO market participant. At the end of each year, MISO looks at the moment in time when the sum of all electrical usage was highest (peak demand load). A capacity charge is then allocated to each MISO participant based on the participant’s usage at the moment of the peak demand load. This annual capacity charge is a component of each year’s campus utility rate. As a campus community, we can work together to lessen our capacity charge by reducing electrical demand during peak load periods.

F&S will issue an Energy Alert to the Urbana campus through Massmail whenever an emergency condition arises or a peak demand load is anticipated for the MISO grid. Energy Alerts direct all students, faculty, and staff to reduce their electricity usage to the greatest extent possible during the alert period. Turning off your lights and window AC units and unplugging all nonessential equipment has a significant impact on the university’s utility rate.

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Conserving energy is everyone’s responsibility. Individuals, departments, and units can all contribute to reducing energy usage on campus.

Real-time Regional Grid Updates
Real-time load forecast data is available from the MISO.