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PRM-002: Energy Management and Sustainability

Date: 01/18/2006 Status: Final
Last Revised: 07/21/2021
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations
Applies To:

Academic Division and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to promoting energy conservation and efficiency, which can have a significant impact on the University’s greenhouse gas emissions and the use of non-renewable resources. In addition to the environmental benefits, energy conservation and efficiency decrease operational costs.

Policy Summary:

The University of Virginia Energy Management and Sustainability Policy provides guidelines and procedures that foster energy conservation, efficiency and environmental stewardship with the goal of reducing energy usage, cost, and environmental impact including greenhouse gas emissions. While this policy is recommended for facilities that are leased by the University from other property owners, some aspects of this policy may not be applicable since operation, design and maintenance of these buildings are outside University control.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Energy:Purchased fuels and the energy and utilities derived from them.
  • Energy Conservation:Initiatives and efforts aimed at achieving a reduction in energy usage and waste.
  • Energy Efficiency:The use of equipment that requires less energy to operate.
  • Energy Management:Activities that foster energy conservation, energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions:Emissions which occur during the combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas, fuel oil, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, propane, and coal. These are typically calculated based on metric tons of equivalent carbon dioxide (MTeCO2).
  • Sustainability:
    The ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ¹
    ¹From the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), now known as the Brundtland Commission.
Policy Statement:

University faculty, staff, and students will make every effort, collectively and individually, to assist the University in its goals to lower energy consumption, reduce expenditures on energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, if electricity usage at the University could be reduced by just 10% through everyone committing to doing the simple actions listed below, the University’s annual carbon emissions could be reduced by almost 18,500 tons and its electricity bill by over $2.1 million based on the FY 09 cost of power.

The Sustainability Programs Manager in the Energy & Utilities Department, working with faculty, staff, and students, ensures that sustainability initiatives related to energy conservation and energy efficiency in facilities meet the needs of the University.

  1. Standards Applicable to all University Buildings and Occupants:
    1. The use of portable heaters is prohibited.
    2. The use of individual microwaves, coffee makers, hot plates, refrigerators, radios, DVD players, televisions, and similar personal, energy consuming devices is discouraged.
    3. Office equipment such as printers, fax machines, training equipment, and copiers shall be co-located and shared to the extent possible.
    4. All new purchases will be ENERGY STAR-rated per the UVA Procurement Services guidelines.
    5. All new laboratory, clinical, research, or educational equipment will be specified to be energy efficient and to use process (non-air conditioning) chilled water or centralized heating water or steam. The use of domestic water for single pass cooling is prohibited.
    6. The installation of new incandescent or halogen lighting is prohibited.
    7. Windows in conditioned spaces will remain closed when building conditioning systems are operating.
    8. Temperature Guidelines: Where feasible, temperatures will be set back during evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, and other unoccupied periods in accordance with ASHRAE 55-2007: Conditions for Thermal Comfort.
    Season Temperature Range
    Occupied Periods
    Temperature Setpoint
    Unoccupied Periods
    Winter (Heating) 67°F - 71°F 55°F
    Summer (Cooling) 72°F - 76°F 85°F

    Note: Buildings that use air conditioning systems for humidity control may be set to as low as 68˚F in the summer to minimize the use of energy that is needed to reheat the air for comfort.

  2. Measures to Reduce Energy Use:
    Actions that assist the University in energy management include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Turn off lights when leaving a room even for a short period of time.
    2. Ensure that lights in common areas are turned off at the end of the day.
    3. Place computers in stand-by mode when not in use.
    4. Turn off computers, monitors, and other equipment at the end of each day. Better yet, unplug equipment or use a power strip or surge protector to unplug equipment at the end of each day to eliminate potential “standby or phantom energy loss”. This type of energy loss occurs with electronic devices, appliances or electronic equipment with standby capability such as televisions, computer monitors, remotes, digital clocks, and radios or DVD players with clock displays.
    5. Walk, bike, or take the University (UTS) or City (CTS) bus when traveling around Grounds or the community. Both bus systems are free to UVA faculty, staff, and students. Note: A current UVA ID is needed for CTS.
    6. Use public transportation or carpool to class or work.
    7. Plan activities to eliminate or combine trips and reduce vehicle use.
    8. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    9. Close fume hood sashes when not in use.
    10. Consider turning off lights when outside daylight is adequate.
    11. Consider using task lighting and desk lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in lieu of overhead lighting.
    12. Send energy suggestions and ideas to [email protected].
    13. Become a sustainability advocate.
  3. Sustainability Committee:
    The President has established a Sustainability Committee comprised of faculty, staff and students. This committee provides recommendations on all aspects of sustainability at UVA including environmental impact, community outreach and communications, academic/schools initiatives, policies and procedures, and related issues.

  4. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the Energy and Utilities Department or Facilities Management.

Major Category:
Physical Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Policy Review Committee, 01/18/2006
Revision History:
Added Compliance section 7/21/21; Updated 4/9/2010.
Supersedes (previous policy):

XIII.C.1, Facilities Management – Utilities Services.