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Energy Strategy

NYU's Energy Strategy

With over 40,000 students and 16,000 faculty and staff, NYU is a large user of energy. When NYU accepted the Mayoral Challenge in 2007 to reduce its greenhouse gas output 30% by 2017, the University's emissions were about about 0.30% of New York City's total. The principal source of these emissions is energy use in buildings, which has been the focus of NYU's Energy Strategy.

Energy Reductions

NYU has met and surpassed the Mayoral Challenge goal in just four years. With the addition of the new cogeneration plant to energy saving measures, the total reduction in emissions is over 40%. Overall, NYU has reduced its energy intensity (per square foot, per year) by about 20% over the past four years. Click the graph on the right to enlarge it.


NYU Emissions Reductions

Energy Projects

To achieve this reduction, NYU has performed many energy saving measures. The results are due to the collective efforts of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, working together to conserve energy and use it more efficiently. Some of these measures include:

  • Relamping with energy-efficient bulbs and ballasts to save energy used in lighting in over 40 buildings
  • Installation of 4,000 occupancy sensor air conditioning and heating controls in student residences
  • Installation of 4,500 occupancy sensor lighting controls in offices, meeting rooms, and classrooms
  • Setting special HVAC, lighting, and elevator schedules during winter, spring, summer, Thanksgiving Recess
  • "Lights Off" campaign to turn off unused lighting and other loads, especially before weekends or breaks
  • Verifying schedules and correct operation of Building Management Systems
  • Recommissioning, or bringing building systems back into proper functioning for reliability and energy savings
  • Over 50,000 low-mercury, high efficiency compact fluorescent lightbulbs installed or distributed in residence halls
  • Installing domestic hot water heating units in buildings so boilers can be shut down in summer
  • Shutting off reheat loops during the summer to avoid reheating air that has just been cooled
  • Finding and fixing leaky steam traps
  • Setting personal computers to hibernate when not in use
  • Installation of Vending Misers to reduce vending machine energy consumption
  • "NYUnplugged", a residence hall energy conservation competition
  • Writing and implementing Energy Guidelines for retrofits and new construction

Overall Energy Strategy

A good energy strategy will provide clear guidelines throughout the university community for construction, maintenance, and the ongoing use of energy; reduce the impacts of energy production on the environment; and help make New York City a better place to live.

  1. Goals and metrics: collecting good data about energy usage, setting benchmarks, analyzing progress towards targets
  2. Conservation: reducing energy use in heating, cooling, lighting, and other building needs (for example, shutting off the lights when no one is in the room)
  3. Efficiency: doing the same thing with less energy (for example, replacing light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescents)
  4. Procurement: getting energy from the cleanest and most renewable available source when possible, and getting the best price possible on our standard sources of energy so we have money for conservation and efficiency programs
  5. Demand response: use building management system and staff to respond to grid emergencies
  6. Production: expansion and best use of our cogeneration plant
  7. Education and outreach: University faculty, staff and student cooperation and support of the energy strategy are key to its success.