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About NYU’s Energy


Energy use in NYU buildings is a much more substantial source of emissions than the University's waste and transportation systems, therefore reducing energy use will directly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

The Story of Energy

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When NYU accepted the Mayor's Carbon Challenge in 2007 to reduce its emissions by 30% from 2006 levels by 2017, the University's emissions were about 0.30% of New York City's total. We reached our reduction goal in 2012, five years ahead of schedule! In 2015 we accepted the new Mayor's Carbon Challenge: a massive 50% emissions reduction by the year 2025.

NYU’s direct greenhouse gas emissions break down:

Greenhouse gas emissions break down

Here is our progress and our strategy to cut emissions: 

Annual GHG Emissions

NYU's Emissions Reduction Strategies

NYU is striving to avoid energy waste (conservation), while also accomplishing the same work using less energy (efficiency). This strategy includes:

  • Green construction and renovation: Use building standards and certifications to ensure that new construction and substantial renovation projects are designed and executed to achieve high-performance EUI targets.
  • Conservation through behavioral changes from building occupants: Motivate building occupants to use less energy through changes in personal or organizational behavior. The combined effects of many individual actions add up to significant overall savings.
  • Retrofit and upgrades to buildings: Install improvements to existing buildings to achieve greater efficiency or conservation of energy.
  • Operational innovations to run buildings more effectively: Utilize building management systems, advanced controls, active monitoring, and operator training.
  • Use cleaner, more efficient energy: Upgrade and expand cogeneration power plant and minimize the use of fuel oil to heat buildings.  

Cogeneration Plant

NYU is generating cleaner, more efficient energy on-site with an upgraded and expanded cogeneration power plant. Our cutting edge cogeneration plant, which sits under Warren Weaver Hall and is the largest capital investment in the university's history, went online in 2010. The plant provides heating and cooling to 40 NYU buildings and electricity to 26 buildings, saving the university $5–8 million per year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. The plant also provides high-temperature hot water, avoiding the annual use of 500,000 gallons of carbon-intensive fuel oil and 280,000 therms of natural gas combustion in buildings.

In addition, cogeneration power takes pressure off the city’s strained electrical grid, reducing the chances of future brownouts, and allows us to resiliently handle such large-scale blackouts as the one we experienced during Hurricane Sandy.

Combined Heat & Power in Action