Energy Services & Sustainability

Energy Conservation

As our name implies, Energy Services and Sustainability manages all of the energy for all of the buildings of the University of Rochester. What constitutes management is a bit different depending upon if the building is on campus or off campus. In either case, our goals are the same: ensure our customers has quality utilities at the lowest cost possible and help our customers become more energy efficient and sustainable.

Field full of Solar Panels on a Sunny Day
  • Billing

    Energy Services and Sustainability allocates all of the utility expenses between departments and ensures that each department pays for the utility that they used. This gives departments incentive to save energy, because if they do, their expenses will decrease accordingly.

  • UR Meters

    Energy Services and Sustainability owns and operates 800+ electric, natural gas, chilled water, hot water, steam and domestic water meters on River Campus, Medical Center and Mid Campus. Data from these meters is collected in our OSISoft PI system and a portion of that data is then transferred to our Energy Management Information System. These meters allow to allocated actual energy usage to each building, are important in assisting when analyzing each buildings energy use, and critical for measuring and verifying results for energy conservation measures.

  • Projects

    Energy Services and Sustainability always has multiple projects in progress to maintain and enhance the plant and associated distribution systems. Some of which are specifically to increase efficiency or improve sustainability. Even if the project goal is not energy efficiency, we still evaluate the project to determine if there is a feasible way to accomplish the project goal and increase efficiency at the same time. We help facilitate customer’s energy conservation projects where possible.

  • Incentives

    We are always on the lookout for utility and government incentives, towards energy conservation projects or studies to increase our energy efficiency or sustainability. UR is a NYSERDA REV Campus Leader, which qualifies us to participate in the NYSERDA FlexTech program. Energy Services and Sustainability has recently obtained incentive funding from NYSERDA FLexTech, NYSERDA RTEM, RG&E C&I Program and the RG&E Self-Direct program towards multiple projects which will help us improve our sustainability. These incentives are an important contribution to making these changes cost effectively.

  • EMIS

    The Energy Management Information System (EMIS) by eSight Energy installed in 2020/2021 and paid for through an RGE incentive, integrates nearly all aspects of energy management together into one software platform. This software tracks, coordinates and analyzes energy usage data, energy conservation measures and facilitates communication to stakeholders and community. There are multiple views into the system. Many of the vital components of the system are available only to authorized users.

    The EMIS integrates all of the following functions and services:

    • Metering - data consolidation, historical data, and tools (verification, alarm, etc.)
    • Analytics - analytic graphs and reports that analyze where and how our energy is consumed
    • Dashboard - communication for students, faculty, and staff
    • Funding - reports to verify energy savings on energy conservation projects for external incentives
    • Operational Data - potential to expand dashboards for building managers insight into operations
    • Improved energy management resulting in reduced energy consumption and costs.
    • Student and faculty engagement in our energy use supporting academic and student interests.
    • Improved efficiency within Energy Services and Sustainability to increase our effectiveness.

    There are two public portals into the system, which do not require a password and are available to everyone on an official UR network. These portals will not work from off-campus unless you use a UR VPN.

Environmental Efforts

Rev Campus Challenge

Energy Services and Sustainability is continually striving to increase efficiency and make other improvements to help the University reduce its carbon footprint. In fact, our total plant related CO2 emissions are 10% lower today than they were in 1990 even though our utility plants serve 40% more building spaces. What is even more impressive is that our CO2 intensity has decreased by 38.6% since 1990 (see chart below). Our decisions need to balance reliability, operating flexibility, customer demand, efficiency and sustainability. While we can never ignore the other concerns, we are giving sustainability more consideration today than ever before.

Energy Sustainability and Environmental Efforts

  • Installed Energy Management Information System with UR Public Portal
  • Recently promoted to NYSERDA REV Leader Status
  • NYSERDA REV Spotlight Article
  • Energy Solutions Initiative Strategy Guide
  • Energy Management Roadmap
  • Created Energy Conservation Assessment and Plan in 2021
  • Student Project: History of University of Rochester's Greenhouse Gas Emissions as:
  • Project Spotlight: Energy Services and Sustainability has identified half a dozen control valves in the Strong Memorial Hospital Mechanical Equipment Room MER-2-1400 which are directly coupled to the entire campus system differential pressure needs. These valves and the air handling equipment they serve constitute only a small portion of the campus chilled water thermal load, but contribute to a large portion of the chilled water differential pressure load. By replacing these few specific valves with ones that use less pressure drop, we are able to save pumping energy for the entire campus. This is only one example of how Energy Services and Sustainability is collaborating with our customers to increasing efficiency and reduce operating expenses.


Tim Vann

Vivash Karki