Energy

Introduction

For most institutions, energy consumption is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global climate change. Implementing conservation measures and switching to renewable sources of energy can help institutions save money and protect them from utility rate volatility. Renewable energy may be generated locally and allow campuses to support local economic development. Furthermore, institutions can help shape markets by creating demand for cleaner, renewable sources of energy.

2023 resources

The Business Case for Renewable Energy: A Guide for Colleges and Universities

  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) (DC)

Growing numbers of colleges and universities are making the leap to renewable energy. And some are not only saving money - they’re making money on their renewable energy purchases. This ...

  • Posted July 21, 2016
  • Publications
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Reshaping the Education of Energy Managers

Newly educated Energy managers will play a key role in the unfolding global transition to renewable energy and sustainability. We describe a new approach to energy management education via a ...

  • Posted July 21, 2016
  • Publications
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Solar Energy on Campus: Opportunities and Common Pitfalls in Communicating Renewable Energy Use in Higher Education

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (CO)
  • Center for Resource Solutions | Green-e (CA)

As universities and colleges nationwide green their electricity with solar through onsite generation, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases, these institutions must be clear and accurate ...

  • Posted July 21, 2016
  • Videos & Webinars
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Solar Market Pathways: Solar for Colleges and Universities Toolkit

  • United States Department of Energy (DC)

This toolkit provides guidance and resources from Solar Market Pathways projects to inform the development and implementation of targeted solar programs and policies for higher education institutions. Specifically, these resources ...


The value of adding ambient energy feedback to conservation tips and goal-setting in a dormitory

  • Middlebury College (VT)

Purpose The majority of research on energy feedback has been conducted in residential households; in this study, the authors aim to examine the effectiveness of similar initiatives in a college ...

  • Posted July 18, 2016
  • Publications
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What goes on behind closed doors?: How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention

  • University of Southern California (CA)

Purpose The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the impact of a competition-based intervention combining high-resolution electricity feedback, incentives, information and prompts on college dormitory residents’ energy consumption and ...

  • Posted July 18, 2016
  • Publications
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AAS Degree in Energy Management

  • Tunxis Community College (CT)

The Applied Associate of Science Degree in Energy Management is a two-year technical training program that prepares students for a career in commercial building energy analysis and energy management.

Students ...

  • Posted July 7, 2016
  • Academic Programs
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ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings College Course Materials Package

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (DC)

The ENERGY STAR college-level course, Introduction to Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Through EPA's ENERGY STAR Program, gives students practical, hands-on experience with commercial building energy efficiency. This course was ...

  • Posted June 27, 2016
  • Course Materials
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Net Impact Energy Efficiency Project

  • Saint Joseph's University (PA)
  • Net Impact (CA)
  • The Saint Joseph's University Net Impact Undergraduate chapter has been collaborating with R World Energy Solutions—a sustainable energy consultant to business—over the past year in order to ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
  • Case Studies
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UCSC Climate & Energy Strategy- A Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2025

  • University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)

Over the past 18 months, UCSC has been implementing a process to develop a comprehensive Climate and Energy Strategy (CES) to support its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025 ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Community engagement and education on energy and water conservation

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Our capstone Sustainability class students at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) performed over twenty energy and water audits on local businesses in 2016. Each student was required to write up ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Eagles, Education, and Engagement through Green Technology

  • Alfred State College (NY)

Alfred State College (ASC) School of Applied Technology and the United States National Arboretum (USNA) have collaborated for over eight years in an innovative partnership that has generated significant measurable ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Utility-Scale Solar Farm for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, and Facilities & Services (F&S) is honored to support the campus wide Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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The Cinnamon Roll Challenge: Promoting Reductions in Energy Consumption Through Energy Dashboards and Behavioral Influence

  • Rice University (TX)

With an understanding of buildings as major sources of energy waste, our team set out to reduce student consumption in dorm rooms, the area that we have the most control ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Publications
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Eco-friendly Lighting at the Smith College Museum of Art

  • Smith College (MA)

Beginning in 2014, after several years of study and preparation, the Smith College Museum of Art replaced all of the incandescent lights in galleries, classrooms, and other displays with energy-efficient ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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The Morris Model: Catalyzing Community Resilience, Energy Conservation and Clean Energy Planning and Action

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) has demonstrated a successful planning approach with partners across the state to build climate resilience into the consciousness and planning efforts of the city ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Carbon footprint analysis of student behavior for a sustainable university campus in China

  • Drexel University (PA)

Sustainable urban design, systems-level organizational planning, and human behavior have all been recognized for their potentially important roles in helping to reduce energy costs and associated environmental impacts, including greenhouse ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Publications
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Hawaii Pacific University Loa Campus: Promoting Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the Office

  • Hawaii Pacific University (HI)

In order to promote sustainability throughout campus and engage in a behavior change process that is both research intensive and action oriented, the Green Office Program of Hawaii Pacific University ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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UMass Amherst Goes Solar All Over

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (NY)

In early 2016, UMass Amherst became the first campus in the UMass System to install a solar parking lot canopy system on its campus. The project, located at the Robsham ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Social Impact Solar

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

Poverty, inequality, and environmental sustainability are the biggest issues facing humanity today. Located in the richest state in the nation, with the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy programs, Cal ...


Development of a Novel Food Waste Collection Kiosk and Waste-to-Energy Business Model

  • University of Toledo (OH)

The US generates more than 37 million metric tons of food waste each year and over 95% of it is disposed of at US landfills. This paper describes the development ...


Doubling Energy Efficiency at the University of Michigan by 2030

  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Johnson Controls, Inc (WI)

Approximately 84 million Americans spend their days in colleges, universities, and public or private primary and secondary schools. The commercial building sector, which includes educational institutions, accounts for 18.44 ...


University of La Verne Sustainability Challenge 2016

  • University of La Verne (CA)

University of La Verne organized a Sustainability Challenge with the theme of electricity conservation in Spring of 2016 to promote sustainability for the campus community at large.


Development of a Carbon Capital Methodology for use by the Higher Education Community

  • Ball State University (IN)

Over a multiyear period, Ball State University collaborated in the development and piloted the implementation of a new methodology by which colleges and universities can qualify their carbon reduction credits ...


Serenity "Soul"-ar: A Campus-Community Collaboration in North Philadelphia

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Serenity Soular is a campus-community partnership between community leaders in North Philadelphia and a group of faculty and students at Swarthmore College. Committed to keeping the ‘soul’ in sustainability, our ...


Unifying Campus Efforts in Pursuit of Green Restaurant Certification at UC Irvine's East Food Court

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

UC Irvine's East Food Court became a Certified Green Restaurant on November 5, 2015 and upgraded its certification from 2-Star to 3-Star on April 22, 2016 through significant interdepartmental ...


SLU Energy Madness

  • Saint Louis University (MO)

SLU Energy Madness was a multi-month event involving all residence halls on SLU’s campus. While all residence halls were included, in order to participate each residence hall needed at ...


UC Cool Campus Challenge

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)

In the fall of 2015, the Cool Campus Challenge (CCC) engaged nearly 20,000 staff, students and faculty at the University of California (UC) in an online pledge campaign aimed ...


Art meets sustainability in new mural at Sheridan College

  • Sheridan College (Ontario) (ON)

On April 27, 2016 Sheridan College unveiled ‘Woven Stories’, a colourful, two-storey public art mural, on the western façade of the Rob Turner Building at its Davis Campus in Brampton ...


Building Sustainability: A holistic application of sustainable practices in UVA buildings

  • University of Virginia (VA)

Building Sustainability is a comprehensive model to building optimization that utilizes various programs based on the needs of each building. Utilizing the strengths of the Office for Sustainability’s retro-commissioning ...


Starting with small energy conservation projects leads to huge energy conservation success

  • University of Rochester (NY)

The University of Rochester has many competing demands for funding. In the early 2000’s energy projects were managed by individual facilities departments with typically less than $40,000 expended ...


Renewable Energy at Harvey Mudd: The Design, Construction and Life Cycle Analysis of a Solar-Powered ParaSOL

  • Harvey Mudd College (CA)

Colleges across the country are beginning to integrate renewable technologies on their campuses. Privately and publicly funded projects have brought large solar arrays to parking lots and rooftops, but have ...


Solar Energy Justice in Portland

  • Lewis & Clark College (OR)

Project Description We are two Environmental Studies majors pursuing a project to put solar panels on affordable housing in Portland. We are working with Central City Concern (CCC) to put ...


Study to Reduce Peak Electrical Demand Charges for the John C. Hodges Library

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

The goal of this project is to design electrical and thermal storage systems that will reduce electrical consumption during periods of peak demand and thereby save the University money in ...


Compact Advanced Facility for Conversion of Waste Cooking Oil to Biodiesel to power the University Bus system

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The University Bus system is powered by a Biodiesel mixture. The project investigated feasibility of generating its own Biodiesel from the waste cooking oil generated by the dining facilities and ...


NC State University Facilities, Academic Affairs Collaborate For Summer Energy Savings

  • North Carolina State University (NC)

A hot, humid North Carolina summer isn’t when you might expect NC State University to save nearly $900 a day in avoided energy costs. But thanks to a new ...


Carbon On-Setting: Community Impact through Home Weatherization in Greenville, SC

  • Furman University (SC)

The Community Conservation Corps (CCC), a program of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University, provides free home weatherization to low-income homeowners in the greater Greenville, South ...


A Strategy for Energy Performance Analysis at the Early Design Stage: Predicted vs. Actual Building Energy Performance

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (NY)

Developments in information technology are providing methods to improve current design practices, where uncertainties about various design elements can be simulated and studied from the design inception. Energy and thermal ...


Medium-scale Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine

  • Iowa Lakes Community College (IA)

Wind is something Iowa Lakes Community College knows well. After two years of solid engineering, one of its partners has donated a game-changing turbine prototype to their school. Because of ...

  • Posted May 15, 2016
  • Green Power Projects
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An Economical Analysis of the USFSP Solar Parking Garage

  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg (FL)

This undergraduate student paper was accepted without revision as an oral presentation at the ICES 2016: 18th International Conference on Energy held in Paris. The topic is an economical analysis ...


A Statistical Analysis of the USFSP Solar Parking Garage

  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg (FL)

This undergraduate student paper was accepted without revision as an oral presentation at the ICES 2016 : 18th International Conference on Energy held in Paris. The topic is a statistical analysis ...


Going Geothermal: The Project Dedication Video

  • Ball State University (IN)

True to our tradition of innovation, Ball State continues to be revolutionary and responsible. We are creating the nation's largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system, benefiting both the ...

  • Posted May 13, 2016
  • Videos & Webinars
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Geothermal A-Maze!

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

Part of your legacy at UIC could be #AMaze! Help us to design it!

There is a deep hole next to University Hall. As deep as University Hall is tall ...


Zygmunt, the electric car

  • Universidad de Monterrey (NL)

Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico, and there is about 2 million cars. This amount of vehicles creates traffic jams, pollute the air and chaos. According to the ...


Lights Out Starter Kit

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

In April 2013, a student energy conservation organization, Longhorn Lights Out, began on the UT Austin campus. This organization, sponsored by UT's Energy and Water Conservation Program, encouraged students ...


Pedal-powered smoothies to celebrate Earth Day at Case Western Reserve University!

  • Case Western Reserve University (OH)

We borrowed a bike-powered blender (a Fender Blender) from our on-site gym and had a few of our Sustainability Ambassadors help students and visiting families make their own pedal-powered smoothies ...


ENERGY STAR Photo Booth at Northwestern University

  • Northwestern University (IL)

ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that helps organizations and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Northwestern is an ENERGY STAR ...


Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education

  • National Wildlife Federation (VA)

This comprehensive study by National Wildlife Federation and Princeton Survey Research Associates International reviews trends and new developments in environmental performance and sustainability at 1,068 institutions. It recognizes colleges ...


Earth Day at California State University, East Bay!

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

The Zero Waste Team was out tabling this Earth Day along with the Solar Club, GIS, ASI, the Biology Department, Transportation and Parking Services, and other organizations on campus!

  • Posted April 28, 2016
  • Photographs
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Going Geothermal At Ball State University

  • Ball State University (IN)

Ball State University has created the nation’s largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system, benefiting the statewide social, economic and environmental context.

The system’s implementation demonstrates that geothermal ...

  • Posted April 26, 2016
  • Videos & Webinars
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Benchmarking Data

The following data has been compiled in spreadsheet format to facilitate benchmarking. It will be updated annually to coincide with the publication of AASHE’s Sustainable Campus Index.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Energy Partners

Edison Energy

Irvine, CA
Business Leader

Legrand North America, LLC

Carlsbad, CA
Business Leader
Legrand Building Control Systems provides digital lighting controls, shading and remote services.

Pharos Systems International

Rochester, NY
Business Leader
A certified B Corp, Pharos helps universities reveal wasteful habits and hidden costs making campus printing less expensive, more mindful, and more sustainable.

8760 Engineering

St. Louis, MO
Business Affiliate
Energy Master Planning / Metering / Retrofits, Advanced Cx, Retro-Cx and Central Plant Optimization.

Ameresco, Inc.

Framingham, MA
Business Affiliate

American Council on Renewable Energy

Washington, DC
Business Affiliate

Celtic Energy, Inc.

Glastonbury, CT
Business Affiliate

Center for Resource Solutions | Green-e

San Francisco, CA
Business Affiliate
Green-e® is the only certification for renewable energy and carbon offsets accepted by AASHE STARS, setting quality standards and ensuring purchasers receive full environmental benefits.

CustomerFirst Renewables

Gaithersburg, MD
Business Affiliate
CFR is an innovative, renewable energy advisory firm focused on bringing large-scale solutions directly to clients. CFR solutions typically meet up to 100% of power needs, cost less than brown power, and mitigate price uncertainty.

Energy Solutions Professionals, LLC

Overland Park, KS
Business Affiliate

Energy Strategies

Salt Lake City, UT
Business Affiliate
Helping higher education clients instill confidence in their energy decisions by supplementing their capabilities with our experienced, multi-disciplinary consultancy services

Energy Systems Group (ESG)

Newburgh, IN
Business Affiliate

First American Education Finance

Fairport, NY
Business Affiliate
First American Education Finance provides customized financing solutions to help schools solve their unique challenges - from complex projects such as energy-efficiency upgrades and campus improvements to equipment management.

Fit for Green Inc.

Mission Viejo, CA
Business Affiliate
Fit for Green actively engages people across all 3 pillars of sustainability during exercise. They are a provider of specialized commercial gym equipment.

GreenerU

Watertown, MA
Business Affiliate

SolGreen Solutions

Alexandria, VA
Business Affiliate

Strategic Energy Innovations

San Rafael, CA
Business Affiliate
Helping communities embrace sustainability.

Sunbolt

Willow Grove, PA
Business Affiliate
Sunbolt creates solar-powered charging workstations. Featuring an unmatched solar array, these outdoor workstations are fully equipped to charge smart phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

Sun Charge Systems

Cleveland, AL
Business Affiliate