SMART Energy

We are SMART energy users

System, Metering, Action, Retrofits, Technology

UIC has a complex energy delivery SYSTEM.

DG11_09_12_026.JPGThe University of Illinois at Chicago is powered by outside sources as well as internally by power plants. We have two power plants that are designed to deliver up to 34 MW of electricity while cogenerating heat to multiple campus buildings. Each building is a unique system that is managed by our building engineers. The plants also provide chilled water for cooling.

Grant, Lincoln and Douglas Halls use geothermal ground source heat pumps. In the lawn to the east of UH, we have 64 geothermal wells that go 500 feet deep (deeper than UH is high).

UIC generates electricity from 469 solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of Lincoln and Douglas Halls. Their total capacity is 106 kW and they produce about 111,000 kWh of electricity/yr. You can see real-time energy data for the solar panels on Lincoln and Douglas Hall.

UIC METERS our energy use to reduce it.

Energy DashboardUIC has the Smart Grid. We use electronic meters that report energy use back to the the main computer system every 15 minutes. UIC is measuring energy consumption at the building level to identify improvements. The electronic metering systems provide real-time information and reduce human error. These energy metering devices in campus buildings can track energy consumption and assess energy savings.

The real time information is available on our Energy Dashboard located at

User: Dashboard

Password: uicsustain


(Note: Both the username and password are case-sensitive and that the site is only accessible from campus internet. See the UIC Academic Computing and Communications Center for information on UIC WiFi.)

Saving energy requires ACTION by everyone

env poster campign JSThe Chancellor supports our Carbon Neutral Campus commitment which requires energy conservation. UIC is reducing 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.

How you can conserve energy at UIC (and save money for  you & UIC)

  • Use revolving doors and stairs when possible.
  • Turn off lights in any space at UIC where people are not present.
  • Plug electronic devices (such as TVs and lamps) to a surge protector/outlet strip and switch strip off anytime devices are not in use to reduce phantom power usage.turn off printers, monitors, projectors, copy machines, and other office equipment 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
  • Keep laptops and smart phones in power saver mode when in use. (For Windows laptops right click on the battery icon in the taskbar, select ‘Power Options’, and then select ‘Power saver’ in the additional plans section.) For Mac laptops you’ll need to modify the settings manually. Click here for a complete guide.
  • Lower thermostat settings in the winter, raise it in the summer
  • Check the break rooms to make sure that the coffee maker or any small electronics, even the microwave if possible, are unplugged.
  • If your office has blinds or curtains, lower them. This will help to maintain the building’s temperature, and reduce energy used by the building’s HVAC system.
  • Make sure that the last person leaving the building has turned all of the lights in the common areas off, where applicable.

Participate in research at UIC? There’s a good chance your lab will consume 5 times more energy than an average home! Many laboratory equipment that are always in a “high-power” states (even when they are not needed) often draw a lot of energy. Take ACTION and unplug them when not in use, or if they are connected to a power strip, shut that off as well because many electronic devices can still draw power even when they are not in use and turned “off”. Even Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers can be more energy efficient without unplugging them by following a few tips. More information about laboratory equipment can be found on the UIC Green Labs website.

You can also take ACTION at home by visiting the UIC Smart Grid Interns’ blog.

When UIC renovates a space, UIC RETROFITS

energy_metersAnytime we are working on construction projects that touch energy systems, we RETROFIT them with more energy efficient equipment such as LED lights, air handlers etc.

UIC is reducing 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.

We use energy efficiency incentives where possible

Learn more about our renovation projects here:

UIC uses TECHNOLOGY to help us be SMART

lincoln hallFrom smart meters to computer-based controls energy systems are becoming modernized and more efficient through TECHNOLOGY. UIC utilizes building automation systems to monitor and control building systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting. We even write it into our standards when building new.