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Key Objective: 2.2.2 Reduce Building-level Energy

The iCAP 2020, objective 2.2.2 is: “Reduce the total annual energy consumption of each college-level unit by at least 20% from an FY15 baseline by FY35.” The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is Units with the support of F&S. Progress is tracked in the iCAP Portal project page for Building-Level Energy Efficiency.

Associated Metric



In 2018, the Energy SWATeam completed an analysis of the total energy consumption of every university-owned building within the University District (north of Windsor Road) using data from the Energy Billing System between FY08 and FY18 (Figure 8).[1]


Figure 8: Total Energy Consumption for University-owned Buildings in the University-owned District

Unfortunately, total energy consumption (when not normalized by GSF) increased by 2% in this time period. This was influenced by both an 11% increase in University District square footage (Figure 9) and by the addition of Petascale (Figure 10), which used 724,017 MMBTUs in FY19 and did not exist in FY08. According to Energy SWATeam co-chair Bill Rose: 

“Energy conservation [efforts] in the last 10 years have been wondrously successful — if left on their own, the conservation goals could be easily met. Without the square footage burden and Petascale burden, it’s been really successful. But when we add the new square footage and Petascale, the total campus load is up, not down.”



Figure 9: Assessment of Square Footage Changes in University-owned Buildings from FY08-FY19



Figure 10:  Annual Electrical Consumption for Petascale Facility (MWh/year)

F&S employees work hand in hand with facility managers to maintain and improve university-owned buildings. With the FY20 implementation of the Integrated and Value-Centered Budget, colleges are now responsible for space usage and building-level energy costs. This increases college-level incentives to improve energy efficiency in the buildings and spaces they occupy. 

To achieve this objective, every university-owned building occupant needs to participate in the iCAP and endeavor to reduce energy consumption. To support this, F&S collaborated with the Illinois Solar Decathlon (ISD) Concept Team in FY20 to create building-level energy and water report cards. This process pulled available data from the Energy Billing System and evaluated total energy and water reduction since FY08 for the 56 buildings that won the Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP).[2]

The next steps include working with building contacts to strategize energy efficiency solutions. F&S will connect with the facility manager, a building-level communications contact, and a related student organization to develop strategies for reducing energy consumption in individual buildings. The student representative for each building will obtain pledges from building occupants in support of energy conservation.