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.
2013 Strategic Energy and Water Plan
Interactive map of energy conservation features on campus
UNC Energy Management - http://save-energy.unc.edu