FY17 Energy Consumption graph

Energy Consumption

Illustrating energy consumption in a way that’s both easily understood and thought provoking is a challenging task. Searching beyond metrics alone, we found that the powerful World Trade Center Memorial installation, “Tribute in Light,” provided a compelling example as each tower uses 44 – 7,000 watt xenon spotlights, or 308,000 watts of power.

In FY15, Boston University consumed 198,751,330 kWh of electricity. This is equivalent to leaving one of the “Tribute in Light” towers shining continuously into space for 74 years. The total energy used by the University in FY15 was 1,836,199 MMBtus including electricity, natural gas, heating oil, and steam.

Since FY 2006, the University has reduced its Campus Energy Use Intensity (EUI) from 150 kBtu/sf in FY 2006 to 126 kBtu/sf this year. The improvements in efficiency have been gained through a complete renovation of the University’s central heating plant, ventilation, heating and cooling system upgrades and commissioning, lighting projects, and lamp replacement programs.

Energy demand reduction is the most important issue within the University’s sustainability efforts for a host of reasons. Energy efficiency improves air quality and reduces CO2 emissions, which contribute to climate change. Efficiency reduces operating costs and exposure to market volatility, which contributes to the financial strength of the University. In order to most effectively address cost and emissions, we must first focus on energy efficiency. Every day Facilities Management & Planning’s electrical and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning trades staff are installing and maintaining more energy efficient equipment.

EnergyTrades 287

Photo credit Kalman Zabarsky

Since 2008 the University has completed a major upgrade to the East Campus Central Plant, building automation upgrades, and lighting retrofits. Facilities Management & Planning has replaced over 26,000 fixtures with LEDs since 2011 equating to over 9.4 million kWh of savings annually.

FY17 GHG Reduction Strategy Graph
Energy Plan

In FY 2012, the University began to implement a five-year plan to reduce energy consumption by 10%. This effort shifts the focus from lighting projects to a strategy focused on optimizing existing Building Automation Systems where we anticipate generating 80% of the savings. We have identified our biggest energy consumers on campus – 17 buildings consumed 60% of campus energy last year – they all have Building Automation Systems.


FY17 Cleaner Burning Fuels Charts

Strategic Focus

Through this strategic focus we anticipate reducing the Charles River Campus Energy Use Intensity from 150 kBtu/sf in FY 2006 to 112 by FY 2017.