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Energy Demand

With rising energy costs and the construction of new buildings, the University's annual energy bill now tops $89 million. Energy use at UNC has declined 33 percent per square foot since 2003 despite a square foot expansion of 38% in the same period, saving the University $183 million. This has created a clear need for active energy management and conservations. In 2008, a new Energy Management Department was formed within the Facilities Services Division to consolidate energy saving functions. A new campus energy policy and aggressive conservation measures adopted in 2009 are projected to increase energy savings significantly.

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Lighting

Lighting consumes 25 to 30 percent of the electricity in classroom and office buildings and is a high priority for efficiency upgrades. Over the past 15 years, all of the overhead lighting on campus has been converted from inefficient T-12 light tubes with magnetic ballasts to smaller diameter T-8 or T-5 light tubes with electronic ballasts. The result is better light, a 20% savings in electrical consumption, and substantially reduced maintenance calls. Ninety percent of building mechanical rooms have been equipped with timers to turn off the lights. Forty percent of common spaces, such as restrooms, break rooms, and conference rooms, contain occupancy sensors.  Recent improvements in the cost and efficacy of LEDs have encouraged the University to begin testing a variety of fixture types on campus, both indoor and outdoor.  Electric costs at the LED-lit Bell Tower Parking Deck are so much lower than at other decks that Parking Services plans to convert all decks to LED lighting.

Standard, screw-in incandescent lights bulbs have been eliminated in all campus buildings and desk lamps. They were replaced with more than 4,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs that use only one-quarter of the electricity and last many times longer. The next generation of lighting technology, known as LED for light emitting diodes, is currently being tested in multiple locations. At the Ackland Art Museum, more than 400 recently installed LED bulbs will reduce energy used for lighting by 87% and improve lighting quality. Costs will decline by $13,000 annually and carbon dioxide emissions will fall by 73 tons.

Resources:
Energy Efficient Lighting Policy
CFL Bulb Disposal Instructions

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Operating Efficiencies

Building energy consumption accounts for 79% of campus greenhouse gas emissions, so managing existing buildings is key to reducing Carolina's carbon footprint. Many current and future energy efficiency improvements are focused on building automation system controls, operating protocols, and individual behaviors.  In 2009, UNC Energy Management launched an aggressive campaign against energy waste in all areas of campus. The Energy Conservation Measures Program is a building commissioning effort utilizing in-house labor, outside contractor support, and minimal funding to achieve low-cost energy savings. Analyzing and upgrading over 10 million square feet of building space since 2009 has resulted in almost 30% energy savings, or $22 million in energy savings. The program focuses on heating and cooling systems in existing buildings.

Regular recalibration of equipment and systems, broader temperature ranges that correspond with the seasons, setting back air handling systems when buildings are unoccupied, and reprogramming building automation systems can result in major savings.

In 2010, UNC entered the EPA's first annual Working Off the Waste Competition.  UNC's Morrison Dormitory won the national competition, reducing energy use by 36% and preventing 733 metric tons of greenhouse gas emission during the course of the competition on a budget of less than $35,000. Morrison continues to participate in this competition each year, remaining a leader in sustainability.

Resources:
Energy Policy
2013 Strategic Energy and Water Plan
Interactive map of energy conservation features on campus

Links:
UNC Energy Management - http://save-energy.unc.edu

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Energy Management Control System

Real time electric metering has recently joined steam and chilled water metering in virtually every building on campus. The online Dashboard, developed by UNC's Energy Services department, includes data on more than 200 buildings. The online Energy Dashboard, developed by UNC's Energy Services department, includes data on more than 200 buildings. The graphic display provides hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and near real-time data for steam, electricity, chilled water, and solar use, and will eventually provide monthly data for water use. By making the data visible to the Carolina community, building occupants and maintenance personnel can see the impact of actions and behaviors on energy consumption.

Resources:
Morrison Residence Hall Building Dashboard
Real-time Steam Data

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Behavioral Change

Promoting responsible energy consumption is a cornerstone of UNC's energy conservation program. To learn more about these efforts, please visit the Behavior Change page.

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