Energy Policy Goals

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    1. Reduce energy consumption and cost by eliminating waste and increasing energy efficiency for buildings, electrical equipment, campus transportation vehicles, water use, and promoting the construction of green buildings.
    2. Measure energy consumption at the building level where practical for all energy systems to track improvements and develop energy conservation procedures.
    3. Reduce reliance on fossil fuels by conserving energy and developing and using alternative, renewable energy power sources, such as geothermal, biomass [or biogas], solar energy and wind.
    4. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation, waste, grounds operations, and transportation. UIC’s Climate Action Plan sets a goal of 40% emission reductions from 2005 baseline by 2030 and by at least 80% by 2050.

    Comments in italics denote campus and facilities management actions and operations.

  • Metering

    Responsible energy use and incentive systems rely on factual measures of consumption.  To the extent possible, electronic metering systems will be utilized to provide real-time information and reduce human error. The campus will install and maintain energy metering devices on campus buildings with high energy costs to track consumption, gauge where opportunities for conservation of energy exists, and assess if energy savings are being realized.

    Specific action includes installing metering in 23 state-owned buildings which comprise 70% of the square footage. About 80% of the energy consumption should be complete by end of 2010.

    Set Specific Energy Reduction Targets

    The campus will develop more precise metrics for meeting energy objectives by setting reduction, programmatic, and behavioral goals and timelines. For example, the UIC Climate Action Plan proposes that a 40% energy savings could be realized by 2030 through a combination of behavioral changes and by improving energy conservation and efficiency.

    We will develop policy and seek corresponding funding to reach a near-term target of 15% reduction by 2016 (from 2010 baseline).

    • Incentive-based System

    A shadow billing program will be implemented to provide reports to the colleges and administrative units on their utility consumption. This process will serve to incentivize energy conservation and efficiency programs.

    A prototype report will be distributed in fall 2010. A report that integrates metering to be distributed by spring 2011.

    • Personal Responsibility

    Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to minimize energy consumption on campus whenever possible, by maintaining a consistent and reasonable range of indoor temperatures to include lowering thermostat settings in the winter, raising them in the summer, turning off electrical equipment when not in use and using revolving doors and stairs when possible. We recommend a target energy savings of 6% electricity savings over three years.

    • Education and Awareness

    The campus will implement a coordinated strategy to educate faculty, staff, and students about campus energy issues.

    Frequent updates on the progress of conservation efforts will be provided to the campus.

    • Computers and IT Equipment

    Printers, monitors, projectors, copy machines, and other office equipment should be turned off when not in use for extended periods and at the end of the workday. Computer equipment energy conservation entails multiple considerations and is discussed in greater detail in ACCC Guidelines for Conservation with Computers and Office Equipment.

    • Purchasing

    Campus units should purchase energy-efficient equipment to the extent possible, and in accordance with the Procurement Code and US EPA ENERGY STAR®requirements.

    • Transportation

    The Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy encourages pedestrian and bicycle modes of transportation, and use of mass transit to get to and around campus.

    The campus will develop a cost-effective, short-term strategy to achieve the university’s sustainability goals and a long term strategy to incorporate modern, efficient and technologically innovative transportation and grounds systems and programs, enabling the University to respond to increasing demands while maximizing options and benefits and minimizing the negative impact on individuals, human health, and the environment.

    • Water Use

    Consumption of water utilizes energy to pump the water and to treat the sewage, while conservation preserves resources and reduces costs. During renovation and new constructions, water conservation measures shall be implemented. Stormwater run-off to sewer systems will be minimized through use of collection systems such as cisterns, green roofs, permeable pavements, bioswales, and other landscaping techniques. Use of potable water for future landscaping purposes shall be kept to a minimum.

    • Reporting of Conspicuous Energy and Water Waste 

    Faculty, staff and students should report cases of obvious or excessive energy waste (such as outdoor lights left on in the daytime) to Facilities Management via FMWeb.

    • Adhere to Standards for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation

    Energy standards for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems shall comply with current ASHRAE Standard 90.1, “Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except Low Rise Residential,” and ASHRAE Standard 62, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.”

    • Optimize Space Use

    The space economy program recognizes that there is an economic and energy benefit to maximizing the use of space. Classroom scheduling should consolidate space use to optimize the use of buildings based on time and location to reduce heating and cooling of under-utilized and vacant space (e.g. labs that are used as offices; offices used as storerooms).

    Comments in italics denote campus and facilities management actions and operations.

  • Space Temperatures

    General space temperatures during the heating season should fall between 68-71º F. Where it is technically and programmatically feasible, temperatures during unoccupied periods should be set to 55º F or above. Exceptions are patient care areas of the hospital, outpatient clinics, and special requirement areas such as animal rooms andresearch facilities with documented need for constant or warmer temperatures.

    General space temperatures during occupied hours during the air conditioning season should fall between 75-78º F. Where it is technically, clinically, and programmatically feasible, unoccupied temperatures will be allowed to rise as high as 85º F. The same special area exceptions apply as during the heating season above.

    • Space Heaters

    Facilities Management strives to maintain temperatures for proper working environments and the use of space heaters is strongly discouraged, other than for temporary outages when there is no primary building heat. Space heaters use an inordinate amount of energy and can be an electrical and fire hazard. A person whose workspace cannot be heated to within the winter heating season guidelines above should call Facilities Management for system analysis and repair. In the event that space temperatures per Section A cannot be achieved, a low energy, ceramic oil-filled space heater may be approved for use .These space heaters are completely enclosed with no elements exposed. Space heaters are not permitted at the hospital or outpatient clinics except with the approval of the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) in heat loss emergencies. Consult a campus electrician to see if an outlet is capable of handling a space heater. For more information please contact EHSO at 6-7411.

    Operating Hours of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Equipment

    Most campus electricity is used by motor-driven mechanical systems. A reduction in the hours of operation for these systems is paramount to reducing consumption. Deans, directors, department heads, and administrators should encourage cooperation to reduce hours of HVAC operation within limits dictated by program needs. Since fume hood operation entails the heating and/or cooling of large amounts of outdoor air via main fan systems, it is one of the single largest determinants of building energy use. Sashes should be closed when fume hood is not being used.

    To the greatest extent possible, building HVAC systems should be operated between building opening and closing times only. Fume hood operation should be minimized to the greatest extent allowable, within appropriate safety guidelines.

    • Window Air Conditioning Units 

    Window air conditioning units should be used only during hours when space is occupied. If acceptable space temperatures cannot be achieved without extensive running of an AC unit. Facilities Management should be contacted via FMWeb.

    • Lighting

    Office and general lighting in buildings should be turned off during unoccupied hours, unless required for security or personal safety reasons. Task lighting and natural light from windows and skylights are strongly encouraged, and should be employed before general room lighting is activated. Decorative lighting is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum.

    Exterior lighting should be employed only for personal safety and security. Lighting levels recommended in the most recent edition of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America will be used as guidelines and occupancy sensors shall be utilized. 

    • Doors Between Buildings

    Ventilation systems are designed and commissioned to work for buildings as individual units. Where buildings are interconnected by halls and passageways, doors should remain closed to maintain the integrity of the individual building systems and to avoid undue stress on the equipment. The exception to this policy is in the hospital and outpatient clinics where life safety codes dictate policy.

    • Water

    Water consumption should be minimized wherever and whenever possible. Water should not be left running and unattended.

    City water (potable water) shall not be used by Facilities Management for direct cooling of equipment. Such “once-through” water cooling systems, generally installed years ago for specialized apparatus, are prohibited because they run large amounts of potable water to drain, commonly twenty-four hours a day. These systems shall be phased out.

    • Holiday Periods and Summer Session 

    During periods when normal campus operations are suspended (e.g., December holiday break), substantial shutdown of normal heating and air conditioning will occur. During the winter heating season, space temperatures as low as 55º F are possible. During the summer cooling season, space temperatures as high as 85º F are possible. Specific, documented temperature requirements for the Medical Center clinical and research areas supersede the above unoccupied limits. College deans and academic administrators are encouraged to schedule Summer Session classes in as few buildings as possible. This will allow Facilities Management to substantially reduce air conditioning needs in buildings where use is minimized in the summer.

    Comments in italics denote campus and facilities management actions and operations.

    1. Energy and related impacts will be a factor in planning for and managingncampus growth, remodeling, and development.
    2. In accordance with the UIC Building Standards and UIC Climate Action Plan, future new construction, remodeling, and renovation projects of $5 million, or greater shall meet the current Leadership and Excellence in Environmental Design (LEED) NC standard, or the most applicable standard of the LEED Family and be certified at the Silver level or better. New construction, remodeling, and renovations totaling less than $5 million should comply with the LEED Silver requirements to the greatest extent practicable including those credits UIC requires as mandatory, as they appear in the UIC building standards.