exterior view of paccar hall


Eighty percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from combusting fossil fuels to generate energy, including electricity. We need to do our part toward reducing energy consumption. Achieving this goal will require accelerating the implementation of energy conservation projects, targeting older and less efficient buildings for deep retrofits, and ensuring all new buildings meet the UW Green Building Standard to minimize water and energy consumption. The expanded use of utility metering and monitoring based commissioning will keep buildings operating optimally.

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Status updates

FY 2023 progress

 Target actions for 2023

  • Create a process to reinvest in energy savings into new efficiency projects.  
  • Expand campus Meter Monitor O&M program

Create a process to reinvest in energy savings into new efficiency projects

In FY23 the UW allocated about $3 million in seed funding for energy conservation projects from prior utility rebates and a small influx from the Treasury. This is a “pilot year” to track the cost savings from these projects, with an eye toward possible creation of a Green Revolving Fund that could utilize savings from conservation projects to fund future projects. Such reinvestment helps to lower energy and utility costs, and allows Facilities to take on more and larger conservation projects.

Expand campus Meter Monitor O&M program

The UW’s meter program has been fully funded, and over the past year work has been happening to install additional meters across campus for more granular energy data information, as well as upgrading building automation systems and digital controls and analyzing the data gained.

UW Bothell & UW Tacoma actions

UW Bothell and UW Tacoma have long worked to increase efficiency in buildings. Both campuses have their own unique locations and buildings. 
UW Tacoma reprogrammed electrical water heaters campus-wide to turn for energy savings, and recommissioned and updated a campus Hydronic heating loop. In addition, they upgraded some classroom and common areas to efficient LED lightbulbs.

UW Bothell adjusted its “load shedding” building automation program timing to turn on later and turn off earlier while less people are on campus to reduce energy demand during peak times. UWB also installed stickers on our window sills in every building encouraging keeping windows closed to improve efficiency of HVAC systems.  

FY 2022 progress

Target actions for 2022

  • Implement cost effective conservation investments
  • Expand campus Meter Monitor O&M program
  • Develop a Demand Side Management (DSM) approach

Implement cost effective conservation investments

In 2015, comprehensive energy engineering audits of 112 campus buildings identified energy conservation opportunities requiring $25 million of capital investment that would  avoid $5 million in energy waste annually. 
The UW Energy Resource Conservation program has worked to address the opportunities that have a large return on investment. In FY22, the program undertook nine conservation projects. The estimated total capital cost for these projects is $1.93M, and half of those are complete. We have captured rebates of $530,000 and about $300,000 in captured utility costs over the past year. When the projects are fully completed, they will capture $425,000 in avoided utility costs annually.

In order to scale-up and accelerate  future energy conservation efforts, a new Green Revolving Fund (GRF) was officially proposed and approved in the summer of 2022. The GRF will use realized utility savings to finance future energy conservation projects and accelerate their implementation. 

Expand campus Meter Monitor O&M program

In FY22, work continued to install and monitor utility meters and to use the data from those meters and from automated building management systems to detect problems and identify opportunities for reducing waste. The Executive Director for Energy and Utilities has created a plan and proposed budget to accelerate and fully staff this work.

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Guiding principles of this target