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Energy Conservation


To realistically and comprehensively reduce energy consumption, assure acceptable indoor air quality, and improve energy efficiency on campus through methods that are consistent with a safe, secure, and inviting campus community. As outlined in this policy, energy conservation will be accomplished by developing a proactive and progressive approach to providing energy efficient, responsible, and cost effective operations on campus. This policy will be reviewed and updated periodically as public awareness, management techniques, and technologies change.

Applies to: 

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors. 

Table of Contents: 
Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction
    The University of Kansas (KU) spends more than $12 million annually on energy costs. This consumption results in the release of more than 238,000 metric tons of carbon equivalents (MT eCO2) each year. KU Operations provides a number of services through maintenance, operations, and energy service contracting to help reduce consumption through mechanical means. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors also have a responsibility to reduce individual impacts by adopting individual conservation measures. 

    KU is committed to a policy of energy efficiency and energy conservation to reduce our fiscal and environmental impacts. The strategies outlined in this policy are based on the goals and objectives of the Energy Master Plan, which serves as a guide for energy conservation efforts at KU. These goals include:
  • Reduce Lawrence campus energy consumption below 2015 usage levels despite projected growth.
  • Offset energy costs resulting from new construction through efficiencies and/or use of renewable energy to ensure zero net energy growth for campus.
  • Encourage a culture of conservation on campus and within the greater community; additional goals and related strategies can be found in the Energy Master Plan.
  1. Strategies

The strategies listed below are used to conserve energy and are not inclusive of all energy conservation actions; additional energy conservation actions can be found in the Energy Conservation Standards.

Space Temperature

  • Thermostat Set-points: The temperature set-points shall fall within the range suggested by ASHRAE (formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers Inc.), based on the average relative humidity. KU Operations shall program the thermostats with the set-points outlined in the Energy Conservation Standards.
  • Facility Scheduling: KU Operations shall schedule academic and administrative buildings for night and weekend temperature setbacks during unoccupied hours in order to reduce building energy consumption during low-demand periods.
  • Holidays: During University recognized holidays, KU Operations shall schedule temperature setbacks in academic and administrative buildings in order to reduce building energy consumption.

Energy Data & Information

  • Energy Data: KU Operations shall track and make accessible utility usage and costs that will be utilized to make informed decisions.
  • Measure & Verification: KU Operations shall use measurements and trends to verify that projects save energy, cost as expected, and comply with Facilities Planning and Development standards.
  • Energy Conservation Measures: KU Operations shall track, report, and evaluate Energy Conservation Measures (ECM).
  • Renewables: In pursuit of a 100% renewable energy supply, KU Operations shall investigate renewable generation opportunities and renewable generation contracts shall be collaboratively reviewed by, but not limited to, the Center for Sustainability, Facilities Planning & Development, Facilities Services, the Office of General Counsel, the Vice Provost of Operations, and the Vice Provost of Finance, to ensure potential energy sources are reliable and economically, environmentally, and socially responsible.

Conservation Technologies & Behaviors

  • LED Lighting: KU Operations shall replace failed lights with LED lamps or the most energy efficient option available when financially feasible.
  • Individual Behaviors: Faculty, staff, and students shall be responsible for energy conservation in their own workspace. More information on computers and office equipment, personal appliances, fume hoods, and reporting waste is in the Energy Conservation Standards.
  1. Intended Benefits
    Following these objectives and strategies should result in the following benefits:
  • Reduce rising utility costs on campus
  • Extend the life of expensive equipment and facilities
  • Reduce KU’s greenhouse gas contribution
  • Create a  healthier environment for our faculty, staff, students, visitors, and surrounding communities
  • Promote new research and teaching opportunities focused on energy management and sustainability
  1. Enforcement and Interpretation
    Upon the effective date of these policies, the Vice Provost for Operations may delegate all authorities for interpreting and enforcing the policies contained in this document to the appropriate departments.
Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

The Vice Provost for Operations or designee may grant exemptions to the policy for extenuating circumstances, to include, but not limited to, medical conditions or disabilities, temperature sensitive research studies, collection(s), animal care requirements, or special equipment requirements. To request a medical or disability exemption, contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at accommodations@ku.edu or 785-864-4946. Submit all other requests through Maximo at maximo.ku.edu. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, are evaluated against ASHRAE standards, and, if approved, are one-time exemptions unless otherwise specified.


KU Energy Office

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Effective on: 
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
sustainability, energy, conservation, water, energy efficiency, buildings, construction, heating, lighting, cooling, water usage, transportation, purchasing, recycling, Center for Sustainability, Facilities Services, KU Operations, renewable, Energy Master Plan
Change History: 

07/01/2019: Revised to align with goals from Energy Master Plan.
03/08/2019: Changed title VP for Administration and Finance to VP for Operations.
07/08/2016: Removed standards and incorporated them into a separate document.
01/27/2015: Added appropriate title of official for Approved by field
01/05/2015: Updated spacing for Contents field.
12/09/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/03/2014: Updated to reflect that Center for Sustainability (not Facilities Services) is the responsible party for the Recycling Program at KU, and ensure the title is accurate whenever Facilities Services is mentioned. Additional technical updates include selecting 'Lawrence' for the required Campus field; fixing the links in the List of Sections; adding numbering and bullet formatting to Policy Statement and updating broken links; reformatting Contact field; adding placeholder for Approved by; reformatted and fixed links under Related Other; added keywords.
04/01/2009: Updated to reflect “The current KU standard for new construction is 30% improvement on ASHRAE 90.1” and to include links to sustainability and energy conservation resources.

Operational Categories: 

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