From a sustainability perspective, energy is arguably the most important resource that we manage. Campus energy use from electricity and natural gas sources generate two-thirds of our campus greenhouse gas emissions. Currently the university spends over $2 Million annually on electricity and natural gas use.
This is at a cost nearly equivalent to $225.00 per student on the UCCS campus. Given market trends and student population growth we will likely continue to observe increases in the costs associated with these expenditures. While this is the case the University and Office of Sustainability continue our dedication towards alternative energy production, building energy efficiency, and education relating to consumption. As laid out within our campus Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Strategic Plan we have put forward a framework for the responsible growth of our campus. The Sustainability Strategic Plan, "recognizes the seriousness of global climate change, UCCS will strive to reduce its contribution to greenhouse gases by reducing energy use,increasing energy efficiency and pursuing the use of renewable energy."
UCCS has adopted the Smart Energy Living ® pyramid as a guiding energy management principle as well as an educational tool.
Energy Conservation is about our behavior and the actions that we can take every day to reduce energy use at work and at home, such as: turning off lights when not needed, powering off and unplugging computers and other electronics when not being used, turning down the thermostats, taking shorter showers and more.
Energy Efficiency is technology that helps us reduce our energy use including: more efficient CFL or LED light bulbs, occupancy and vacancy sensors, energy-efficient mechanical and HVAC systems and appliances, and more.
Renewable Energy is the final piece of the pyramid. After reducing as much energy as we can from conservation and efficiency, UCCS strives to incorporate as much renewable energy, currently from solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and wind, to our energy portfolio.
ENERGY STAR: UCCS is a state university and therefore is charged by the State of Colorado "to take a position of leadership in the new energy economy. State government will reduce energy consumption, increase the use of renewable energy sources, increase the energy efficiency and decrease the environmental impact of the state vehicle fleet, implement environmental purchasing standards and reduce waste and increase recycling." On April, 2007, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., signed the Greening of State Government Executive Orders D011 07 and D012 07, which sets a goal of reducing energy use by purchasing ENERGY STAR® products when available. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that identifies and promotes energy efficient products and buildings for American consumers, businesses, and organizations to help reduce energy consumption, reduce pollution in the form of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and decrease environmental impact. Read the UCCS ENERGY STAR policy here.