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What’s UT’s Energy & Water Conservation (E&WC) Program All About?
What Starts Here Changes the World. It's not just a slogan to us. It's about developing ways to conserve energy and water at The University of Texas at Austin that are sustainable, and then turning those ideas into action. It comes from the students who make our campus-wide efforts rock, the faculty whose years of research and commitment to energy conservation inspires us, and it comes from the staff who are often the eyes and ears of our program... and sometimes even our pilots.
When the President's Sustainability Steering Committee gave the charge to reduce both energy and water use by 20 percent by the year 2020, we took that charge. We've made and continue to make our buildings more energy efficient. And again on January 29, 2013, when President Powers reported the recommendations from the university's Committee on Business Productivity, he stated:
The Committee also recommends that we invest even more in conserving energy. We have already made a lot of progress. We have cut our per square foot energy use nearly in half in the past 15 years. But we can save even more.
We're heeding the call to improve the way we use our energy and water resources, and with your help, we can meet--and exceed--our conservation goals. We can even help you do the same at home!
How Do We Conserve Energy and Water at UT?
We actively conserve energy and water at the university in two main ways:
- Technical efforts (we handle this part)
- Campus engagement (you can be involved in this part)
Find out more:
Our technical efforts are complex, but in general they involve programming and ensuring that the environmental conditioning systems inside your building are performing as efficiently as possible. We do this by working with our energy engineers on our team and other technical experts within our division, such as Engineering & Technical Support and Zone Maintenance. We also work with the experts at Utilities and Energy Management, who produce the energy for the university from our power plants. Together, we are making strides in energy efficiency—for optimal conservation of our energy and water resources. Teams of specialists in building optimization carry out the energy conservation assessments of our buildings and make the necessary repairs and adjustments, also referred to as energy conservation measures (ECMs). Once the optimization teams complete the necessary measures, we check the meters to see how the results of the ECMs affected the optimized buildings, or just how much energy is being conserved.
Our engagement efforts depend on campus-wide participation, including you, in several areas:
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Minimize your "plug loads" — the energy consumed by any electronic device that's plugged into a socket.
- Run your lab and office equipment as efficiently as possible.
- Participate in our initiatives.
Did you know that The University of Texas at Austin has a sustainability app, UTConserve? UTConserve lets you join the UT community in earning pins and badges for sustainable actions you take every day on campus. You can also win prizes in monthly contests. Join us for some friendly competitions and download the app at www.joulebug.com/utconserve/.
- Inquire about our University of Texas at Austin student internships by contacting us at email@example.com or calling (512) 232-4414.
E&WC Initiatives & Outreach
The Energy and Water Conservation (E&WC) Program has developed specific efforts in different areas of energy and water conservation:
- Conservation Conversations: Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to schedule us to come to speak about conserving energy on campus.
- Holiday Scheduling: This annual initiative is a cooperative effort between EWC and multiple stakeholders in which HVAC systems in selected unoccupied spaces are placed on "setback" mode during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks to lower demand and conserve energy. See the memo on our results from fiscal year 2013/2014.
- Horns Up, Sash Down: Find out why shutting your fume hood sash helps you reduce energy use.
- Longhorn Lights Out: Our campus-wide event where occupants reduce energy by turning off lights and powering down equipment at the end of the day on a specified date. Click here to learn more about the Dark Side team, what we do, and how you can be a part of this great Force!
- Power Down Assessment: Email us at email@example.com to sign up to get a review of your individual space at the university and learn how to reduce your energy use.
- Ultra-Low Freezer Loaner Program: Learn how you can save energy with proper maintenance of your ultra-low freezer. Borrow our freezer while you maintain yours.
We're partnering with Green Labs for our Horns Up, Sash Down and Ultra-Low Freezer Loaner Program.
UT’s Energy Conservation Scorecard and Executive Report
In What's the Energy & Water Conservation (E&WC) Program at UT All About? we describe the university's goal to reduce our energy and water use by 20 percent each by the year 2020. We also shared the directive from the university’s president to save even more than we have before.
We are confident, with your help, we can meet the goal for 2020—even surpass it. So where are we at in meeting the goal so far? Thanks to all our efforts, we are well on our way! Take a look at the Energy Scorecard in the chart on the right or in this downloadable PDF of the chart.
Our Executive Report provides a more detailed look at how our program is doing:
For more information about this report, please contact us. We welcome your feedback, comments, questions or suggestions.
Energy and Water Conservation Tips for Campus, Labs, and Homes
For more information or to share your ideas, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy & Water Conservation (E&WC) Program Contacts
Click or call us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Phone: (512) 232-4414
Seated, from left: Amanda Berens, Energy Engineer; Ana Thiemer, Program Manager; Meagan Jones, Energy Steward; and Grace Hsieh, Energy Steward.
Standing, from left: Ryan Reid, Energy Engineer; Matt Stevens, Energy Steward; Bob Gianfagna, Energy Engineer; Pat Mazur, Technical Staff Associate; and Stephanie Perrone, Project Manager.
We are pleased to partner with the following organizations to save energy and water at The University of Texas at Austin:
Click on the logo graphic to go to a partner's website.