SMART Energy

We are SMART energy users. (System, Metering, Action, Retrofitting, Technology)

UIC has a complex energy delivery SYSTEM

UIC Steam Plant

The 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 megawatts of electricity while co-generating 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.

aerial view of University Hall with the geothermal well field to its east

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).

Learn more about UIC’s geothermal energy source.

solar PV panels on top on Douglas Hall

UIC generates electricity from 469 solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of Lincoln and Douglas Halls. Their total capacity is 106 kilowatts and they produce about 111,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Learn more about UIC’s solar energy power.

UIC METERS energy to reduce it

“Skyspace” by James Turrell at Gateway Plaza lit up at night Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

UIC 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.

skyline view from east side viewing the solar panels on top of Lincoln and Douglas Halls Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

The real time information is available on our Energy Dashboard.

User: Dashboard
Password: uicsustain

(Note: only accessible from campus internet. See the UIC Academic Computing and Communications Center for information on UIC WiFi.)

See real-time energy data UIC Energy Dashboard

Saving energy requires ACTION by everyone

Student turning off the lights as she leaves the room

Small actions like use revolving doors and stairs, turning off lights where people are not present, or turning off office equipment and plugging into surge protectors really does help help UIC get a little bit closer to carbon neutrality. The UIC Smart Grid Interns created energy-saving posters for these energy-reducing habits. Click on the links above to download the PDF’s. You can also take ACTION at home by visiting the UIC Smart Grid Interns’ blog.

Read the UIC Energy Policy for individual energy use at the UIC Policies website.

student closing the sash of the fume hood in his lab

Did you know that laboratories 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 lab equipment when not in use, defrost lab freezers,  and make sure to shut the sash of the fume hood. See more tips for a sustainable lab on the Green Labs page.

Read the UIC Energy Policy on campus energy use at the UIC Policies website.


UIC RETROFITS when we renovate a space

LED lighting in the newly-renovated lecture center room Photo: Joshua Clark

Anytime 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. We also 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.

Energy efficiency incentives for UIC projects.

UIC renovation projects from CPPM.


interior room of Lincoln hall with natural sunlight

From 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. The shades in Lincoln Hall can be automatically raised and lowered, depending on the sunlight entering the system. We even write it into our standards when building new.

More about Energy @ UIC

Interested in Energy? Join the CCSE Energy & Utilities Subcommittee

What is the Smart Grid?

Learn how the Smart Grid can save you money and energy at home in this fun, 2 minute video. (Directed by UIC undergraduate students/ Smart Grid Interns)