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Centralized Energy Efficiency Efforts (Ongoing)


The iCAP 2020 objective 2.2 is to "Reduce Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of university facilities from the FY08 baseline by: 45% by FY30, 50% by FY40, and 60% by FY50." The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is F&S. This objective is the revision of 2015 iCAP chapter 2, objective 3, which was "Strengthen centralized conservation efforts focusing on building systems to achieve a 30% reduction in total campus building energy use by FY20. This includes meeting LED Campus commitments."

The Utilities and Energy Services (UES) division at F&S is responsible for providing campus utilities. The Energy Performance Contracts and the Retrocommissioning teams are under this division, and energy consumption is tracked by this division. These staff are also the key people coordinating the energy efficiency grant applications for campus. 


Efficient and Cost-effective Energy Production
Within its combined heating, cooling and power production cycle, the University of Illinois is able to co-generate energy
for cost-effective electricity, cooling and heating on campus.

The campus operates and maintains a central power plant-called Abbott Power Plant-and three chilled water plants. The central chiller is powered with the steam Abbott creates as a byproduct of electrical generation. The two plants' synergy maximizes the efficiency of the overall utility system. The University of Illinois has operated a co-generation plant at its current location since 1941.

In addition, iCAP provided following strategies for additional energy reduction:

1. Develop a Campus Energy Conservation Master Plan that entails a detailed timeline and investment strategy for campus energy conservation including specific strategies and financing mechanisms toward stated campus energy goals. This plan could be developed through collaboration between experts from our faculty, students, and staff.

2. Expand the Energy Performance Contracting Program as an effective approach to generating capital for energy conservation projects in campus buildings. To date, two EPC projects have been completed with expected energy cost avoidance totaling $2 million annually. There is already a long-term EPC place to address 20 buildings over the next eight years.

3. Expand Campus Retrocommissioning (RCx) Program by improving buildings’ operations to ensure their continued performance over time. Commissioning of buildings, to properly balance and synchronize mechanical systems, is important in order to realize the full benefits of energy conservation opportunities. Since August 2007, more than 45 buildings have been retro-commissioned on campus. These buildings have shown an average energy reduction of 27.8% and a cost avoidance of $4.3 million per year.

4. Expand Campus Maintenance Programs including Preventative Maintenance for continued energy efficiency performance.

5. Extend Campus Lighting Projects by converting to more energy-efficient lamps and fixtures. The campus has committed to becoming an LED campus, which requires all exterior fixtures and interior wayfinding fixtures be LED by FY25 and that the majority of all campus lighting use LED technologies by FY50.

6. Develop a Campus Fume Hood Efficiency Program by developing a taskforce to examine the use of existing fume hoods, identify fume hoods that could be retired, and identify technologies that increase energy efficiency while maintaining research safety.

7. Institutionalize Energy Efficiency in Information Technology by implementing low-energy computing and media equipment, server virtualization, consolidation of IT facilities, reduction in the total number of server instances, and computer power management software in computer laboratories, classrooms, and other campus computers.

8. Reduce Hot Water Heating by switching to instantaneous/semi-instantaneous hot water heaters, increasing insulation on hot water tanks, using recovered heat from chiller condensers and other sources, and using temperature setbacks where appropriate.

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Energy Use Intensity


  • FY 2008:

    iCAP baseline year

  • FY 2015:

    University's goal for 2015 met.

Percent Reduction in Energy Use Intensity

Project Team

  • Project Leader:

    Rob Roman

    Prior Contacts:

    • Kent Reifsteck


Project Location(s)

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