Projects in energy efficiency and smarter energy use have avoided millions of dollars in electricity and natural gas costs since 1990, when the University first established an energy policy and program. Here is a sample of projects we've accomplished.

Lighting Projects

  • Upgrade of Exterior Lamps- In 2013, we completed the upgrade of 1,300 exterior lamp posts which saves an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually (Read More about the project)
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED) Exit Signs - Emergency exit signs in every campus building were replaced during the 2003-2004 school year. Each exit is now equipped with an efficient LED sign which, by code, is required to run 24 hours a day seven days a week. With a total of 3,000 signs on campus, and the old signs running at 40 - 100 watts, the new 2 watt LED signs are providing a significant energy savings. 
  • Occupancy Sensors - Lights and localized fan systems (those fans not controlled by a buildings heating or cooling system) can be controlled during office hours by sensors that monitor a room's occupancy. These sensors detect the presence of people by either ultrasonic or infrared detection, and are most useful in bathrooms, kitchens, break rooms, or in some classrooms where occupancy is sporadic. 
  • Better lighting controls and use of natural daylighting are standard featuers in all new building designs.

Building HVAC and Mechanical Systems

  • VFD and Motor Upgrades - The campus energy standard for new buildings and major renovations to ventilation fans (like the ones used in campus bathrooms) is to install high efficiency or premium motors for heating, cooling, and ventilation. These efficient motors offer a energy savings of 25-33% and the pay back is on average three to four years.
  • Boiler upgrades in smaller buildings have improved efficiency.
  • Retro-commissioning is conducted to improve building operational performance and increase efficiency.

Equipment and Appliances

  • Efficient Washing Machines - In 2003, all residential hall laundry washing machines were replaced with high-efficiency washers. These washers consume 50% less water and use 40% less electricity per load than older ones. Appliances are Energy Star rated and each machine can save up to $150 per year.

Controls, Metering and Monitoring

  • Most large campus buildings are tied into a centralized control system at the Central Heating Plant. The temperature and ventilation on the buildings are controlled through time and scheduling programs with specified set points. What this means is that there is now a fail-safe for lights and thermometers that are left on during non-use hours. 
  • OSi Pi being implemented to integrate the various different building monitoring systems used on campus
  • Thermostat Setbacks - Campus buildings that are not controlled by the centralized environmental control system were retrofitted with programmable thermostats in the fall of 2003. These thermostats save energy by turning down heating and cooling systems while buildings are not in use. UVM also has a standard for environment control: 68 degrees during building use and 62 degrees when the buildings are not in use.

Building Envelope

  • Many improvements have been made to insulate buildings, walls and windows on campus to improve thermal envelope.

Central Heating & Cooling System



Water Conservation

  • Low flow showerheads, faucet aerators, efficient washing machines are standard at UVM. Water-cooled chillers were removed and replaced with high efficiency air cooled units.
  • We proactively monitor billing data and water meters to detect and repair leaks in a timely manner.