Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Universities push to slash energy use: Summer Study speaker describes how

By Wendy Koch, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Across the United States, the push for net-zero energy buildings is gaining momentum. Because this trend holds great promise for deep energy savings, next month’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings will devote an entire panel — with 30 presentations — to the topic.

Register by July 31 to avoid late fees

As part of the “Zero Energy – Moving Beyond 1%” Panel 10, speakers will explore cutting-edge efforts to build homes, affordable housing, schools, and communities that use as little energy as possible by incorporating efficiency measures and renewable power generation. College campuses are showing leadership in this area, and to further their impact ACEEE launched the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign last summer to help students save energy.

To learn more about campus efforts, I reached out to Otto Van Geet, one of our Summer Study speakers. He’s principal engineer in the Integrated Applications Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which has tools to help universities develop and implement their energy-reduction plans. He’s also lead author of the paper, “Zero Energy University Campuses: A 2018 Progress Update on Reaching Campus Energy Goals.” In our conversation, excerpted below, Van Geet gives highlights of the paper that he will present at Summer Study…

Your paper says universities are aggressively seeking to cut energy waste. How many are taking action?

As of early 2018, more than 650 institutions from all 50 states have signed up for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, launched in 2007. Several have pledged climate goals for their entire university system. For example, the University of California has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025 (buildings and vehicle fleet). One of the most rigorous sustainability ratings is the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). By June 2018, more than 900 institutions had registered to use STARS…

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