University of Vermont

Energy Management


UVM Energy Guidelines

Effective as of July 2006

Guideline Statement

The University of Vermont (UVM) campus community is committed to a guideline of conserving electricity, fossil fuels, and water -- with the goal of significantly reducing campus energy consumption. Ways to attain this goal are outlined in the following sections of this policy which were formulated from the ideas and suggestions of the members of the University community, the University's Energy Management Office and the University's Environmental Council. The UVM Environmental Council anticipates that this guideline will be reviewed, periodically, as campus awareness, LEED(TM) emphasis, energy conservation management techniques and technology changes.

Reason for the Guideline

The intent of this guideline is to nsure that energy efficiency is improved through education, research and development; and, that knowledge gained be shared. Both the UVM Environmental Council and Energy Management Office encourage and endorse the use of new, sound, cutting-edge energy management techniques, and equipment. The UVM Energy Management Office, with the assistance from the Environmental Council, will continue to provide guidance for energy conservation at the University of Vermont.

Strategic Direction

It is the Council's hope that whatever knowledge and experience our University community acquires will assist each of us in a life time effort to save our natural resources for future generations. This guideline will reinforce sound environmental choices that will have a major impact on UVM's financial resources and have positive reinforcement on institutional values and educational priorities to make UVM a leader in sound environmental practices and aggressive energy conservation measures using the latest technologies available. This policy supports the current University of Vermont Strategic Plan set forth in 2003 as a mechanism to strengthen UVM's financial resources.

Applicability of the Guideline

This energy guideline applies to all University of Vermont faculty, staff and students. In addition, outside consultants and contractors should be advised to this UVM Energy Policy for all major construction or renovation projects on campus. An emphasis on quality construction with the latest conservation methods should be strictly enforced.

This policy supports the current UVM Master Plan, originally drafted in October 1997 and last updated in May 2006.

Guideline Elaboration

The Building

Windows and doors should be kept closed during the heating season and during the summer in those areas that have mechanical cooling (i.e., individual air conditioning units). Every member of the University community should assume the responsibility of closing primary and storm windows, turning off personal computers (PC's) and other office equipment when not in use, and shutting off the lights when leaving a room. One should not assume that someone else will do it. Installation of storm windows, insulation and weather-stripping will continue to be done as funding permits. The Physical Plant's central control and facility monitoring system will continue to have buildings added, as time and budget allow. Energy management devices and strategies will continue to be added and used fully in buildings not connected to the central environmental control system. Schedulers of classes, meetings and other campus activities will endeavor to minimize energy use. Evening classes will be concentrated in the fewest buildings possible, and where appropriate the buildings used will be those which already have late night, temperature set-back. Using elevators, except for the handicapped and persons transporting equipment or materials which cannot be carried up or down stairs, is strongly discouraged.

Central Heating Plane & Underground Service Mains

The Central Heating Plant will be operated in the most efficient manner possible and in full compliance with current state and federal regulations, while providing complete service reliability. Underground heating distribution mains will be upgraded, whenever economically possible, to minimize energy or thermal losses.

New Construction

Unless prohibited by historical preservation requirements, in all areas of construction, new or renovation, the recommendations outlined in the current ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) Standard No. 90.1 Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Buildings will be followed as closely as possible, so that the University will not incur extraordinary, future energy costs. Additionally, all city and state regulations as well as energy codes, will be followed. All planning for construction and equipment purchase/installation must include energy life-cycle-costing. Alternative energy sources -- such as passive solar heating and heat recovery systems -- will be utilized, wherever economically feasible.

As of 2000 / 2001, all new construction must adhere to the City of Burlington "Energy Conservation Code" - Guidelines for Energy Efficient Construction. See Related Documents / Policies below, for the Burlington Electric Department (BED) web link. This policy was adopted in November 13, 2000 with an effective date of January 1, 2001.


Interior lighting will be fluorescent, whenever possible. New energy-saving fixtures, lamps and ballasts will be used to replace existing less efficient types, whenever economically feasible and appropriate. Exterior lighting will be high pressure sodium or metal halide, whenever possible, and will meet minimum current safety requirements. Decorative lighting will be kept to a minimum. The lighting levels recommended by the most recent edition of the IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) Lighting Handbook shall be used as guidelines. Occupancy or motion sensors (ultrasonic or infrared) wired to area lighting will be installed to reduce and/or turn off lights in unoccupied, vacated areas, wherever economically feasible and appropriate. Day-lighting controls will be installed to automatically adjust lighting levels, wherever economically feasible and appropriate for the application.


Room temperature will be a maximum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (oF) during periods when a building is occupied. Whenever it is economically feasible and a building is unoccupied, the temperature will be reduced. Temperatures in storerooms, hallways, stairwells and other infrequently occupied areas will be maintained lower or, if feasible, unheated. Special areas requiring constant or warmer temperatures such as animal facilities or certain research areas will be the only exceptions to the above requirements. Electric heaters in University buildings will not be allowed except by special permission of the Energy Management Engineer. Special requests will be evaluated on an individual basis, at times in consultation with the UVM Environmental Council.

Mechanical Cooling (Air Management)

As funding allows, mechanical cooling is permitted where it is required for animal care, human health, research conditions, proper functioning of equipment, or the preservation of materials or artifacts. Those areas that are essential for UVM's summer academic program (e.g. classrooms, lecture halls, and general places of assembly) are also permitted mechanical cooling. All areas equipped with mechanical cooling will have temperature settings of 78 degrees Fahrenheit (oF) or as required for special animal quarters outlined by current AAALAC (American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) regulations. Economizer cycles on air handling units will provide "free-cooling", whenever possible, to delay the use of mechanical cooling equipment. Cost of maintaining this equipment as well as the associated utility costs will be the responsibility of the Physical Plant Department. Requests for mechanical cooling, i.e. air conditioning unit(s), for reasons other than those listed above, must be approved by the Energy Management Engineer, at times in consultation with the UVM Environmental Council and the UVM Department of Physical Plant. The department making the special request will be responsible for funding installation, removal/storage, annual utility costs, on-going maintenance and any associated replacement costs.


Areas equipped with ventilation systems will be operated in the most economical way consistent with the comfort of the occupants and state and local code requirements. During times of reduced occupancy, there will be cycling of fans or reduced fan speeds, and systems will be shut off entirely during times of minimal or no occupancy. Air will be re-circulated within the guidelines of safe ventilation as outlined in the current "ASHRAE Standard No. 62 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality" and the currently-enforced requirements found in the BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators International) National Mechanical Code, as much as possible.

Water Usage

Wherever this has not been done, shower facilities will be equipped with water saving shower heads, not-to-exceed 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute). Single-pass water cooling units will not be used in any new construction or renovation projects. Laundry facilities will be configured to employ cold water only, except for one (1) washing machine per facility, which will be supplied with both hot and cold water. Whenever possible, new and replacement water closets designed to save water will be used. Existing units will be equipped with water limiting devices.Aerator screens for faucets shall be "anti-theft".


In order to reduce fuel consumption and expenditures for parking lot maintenance, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to walk or use the Campus Area Transportation System (CATS), car and/or van pools, bicycles and public transportation. University administrators will continue to provide organizational assistance for commuting pools, facilities for bicycles and seek ways to improve public transportation. The acquisition of new or replacement University vehicles is subject to the review and approval of the Vice President of Administration. Considerations of need, use, vehicle size and efficiency, and the availability of alternative transportation will be carefully examined before acquisition or replacement is approved. In all cases, replacement vehicles of the same general type must have a fuel efficiency rating better than the vehicle being replaced. There will be an on-going investigation by University officials on the use of alternative fuels for vehicle operation.


Reducing solid waste through source reduction, improved purchasing practices, reuse, recycling and composting has direct implications for energy conservation in terms of reduced energy usage, handling and transportation requirements. Therefore, reducing solid waste will be promoted and encouraged as part of a comprehensive environmental, recycling and energy conservation programs. The University is committed to support all of these programs in a collaborative effort.

Effective as of July 2006
Revision Issued / Original Issued:
March 1998 / August 1995


  • The UVM Energy Management Council (EMC) was officially integrated with the UVM Environmental Council (EC) in July, 1996.
  • LEED refers to the current version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(TM) Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED(TM) includes criteria related to Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process. Version 2.1 includes 69 possible points, with prerequisites and four levels of certification: Certified 26-32 points; Silver 33-38 points; Gold 39-51 points; Platinum 52-69 points. (from “Environmental Design and Vermont Purchasing in New and Renovated Buildings” policy, dated September 2, 2005, author Robert B. Vaughan)


Requests for new air conditioning (e.g., window or central types), on campus, should be directed to Richard Wolbach. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.


The University of Vermont, Department of Physical Plant, Work Order Form / FAMIS Self-Service Login:

Related Documents / Guidelines / Policies

Burlington Electric Department (BED); "Energy Conservation Code", Guidelines for Energy Efficient Construction " effective January 1, 2001:

The University of Vermont (UVM) "Strategic Plan", Objectives and Action Steps for 2003 - 2008 -- last modified October 14, 2005:

The University of Vermont (UVM) "Campus Master Plan", G.8. Utilities - last modified October 13, 1997:

The University of Vermont (UVM) "Environmental Design and Vermont Purchasing in New and Renovated Buildings" policy -- effective September 2, 2005:

Related Energy Websites:


Richard Wolbach, C.E.M.
Energy Management Engineer
University of Vermont (UVM)
Department of Physical Plant / Energy Management Office
284 East Avenue, Burlington, VT.

(802) 656-2186 / (802) 656-8213
(802) 656-1075; FAX
Web Site:

Last modified August 12 2010 07:37 AM

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