Because infrastructure energy use contributes by far the highest percentage of UNCG’s emissions, it is the primary area of focus for this plan. The steam plant, purchased electricity, and associated factors comprise approximately 71% of campus GHG emissions. The UNCG Climate Action Plan Energy working group teamed with Affiliated Engineers, Inc., an engineering firm with experience in energy modeling and efficiency strategies. Though UNCG has reduced its energy consumption 16% per gross square foot since 2003, its overall consumption has increased more than 8% during the same time period, moving away from the goal of climate neutrality. The University will begin to address this by implementing tactics that increase energy efficiency in existing buildings as well as establishing more stringent standards for new construction. A continued push for everyone in the UNCG community to take responsibility for their personal energy use on campus will also occur, as these improved habits can contribute a 5-10% reduction in consumption. In fact, a recent survey found that 100% of faculty, staff, and students told us they’d like to be part of UNCG’s energy solution. In addition, as technologies improve and the associated financial models produce shorter payback periods, UNCG will look to install on-site renewable energy facilities. Since 2003, energy conservation measures have avoided over $11 million, at least $4.7 million of which came from reduced electrical consumption. Below is a graph illustrating UNCG Electrical Consumption as well as some examples of the University’s past, present, and future energy initiatives.
UNCG Total Energy Chart UNCG Total Energy Consumption Chart


  • Turn off lights when leaving ANY unoccupied room.
  • Only use essential lights – open windows for more natural light.
  • If working in a lab, lower the sash on the fume hood when not in use.
  • Unplug electronics when not in use OR use a smart power strip, if everyone on campus did this, UNCG could reduce annual energy use by 5-10%.
  • Use Auto Power Management (APM) settings to put computer to sleep or hibernate when not in use for short periods, screen savers are not a substitute because they are using energy.
  • Shut down computers/printers when not in use for 2 hours and at the end of the day.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, which eliminates energy and burns calories.
  • Set thermostat to 68 degrees in winter (or lower) and 74 degrees in summer (or higher).
  • Use a drying rack or clothesline instead of a dryer.
  • Do not open windows during cold weather and report uncomfortable temps or equipment problems to Facilities Operations by phone at 334-3456 or email to
  • Reviewed the specifications for HVAC equipment that is subject to replacement by ensuring that it is not oversized; and, for building automation systems that are programmable, the training to ensure that these systems are properly programmed.
  • Made HVAC systems more efficient by upgrading them in conjunction with renovation projects and were fitted.
  • Established Direct Digital Control for regulating HVAC.
  • Replaced minor motorized equipment that is subject to replacement with premium efficiency motors. For purposes of this subdivision, ‘premium efficiency motor’ means a motor that meets or exceeds a set of minimum full-load efficiency standards developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
  • Replaced incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Installed occupancy sensors or optical sensors (Some of this has been done, but not consistently and in all UNCG Buildings.)
  • Disconnected lamps in drink vending machines during evening hours.
  • Encouraged the use of power save feature on computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, and other office.
  • Installed front load washers in all laundry rooms in on-campus residence halls.
  • Installed instantaneous water heaters in 12 UNCG buildings.
  • Purchase only ‘Energy Star’ office equipment and appliances.
  • Integrated energy management under a single Energy Management Engineer.
  • Executed performance contracts to fund utility upgrades.
  • Established by the State of North Carolina, UNCG and all other state system institutions of higher education will reduce their energy consumption by: 20% per gross square foot by 2010 and 30% per gross square foot by 2015, based on energy consumption for the 2003-2004 fiscal year.