Energy Policy and Standards
Energy Conservation Policy
The purpose of KU's Energy Conservation policy is 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.
The Energy Conservation Standards below are devised in accordance with the Energy Conservation policy and implemented by the University. The Energy Master Plan is the basis of the policy's strategies and serves as a guide for energy conservation efforts at KU.
Campus Energy Conservation Standards
Updated July 1, 2019
KU works to minimize environmental impacts and maximize opportunities for efficiency. The Energy Conservation Standards are devised in accordance with the Campus Energy Policy and implemented by the University to provide energy resources adequate to maintain normal campus activities and to encourage the university community to use energy more efficiently.
The temperature set-points in KU Lawrence Campus buildings fall within the range suggested by ASHRAE, formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers Inc., based on the average relative humidity for our area. Facilities Services will program thermostats based on the following:
- Winter — Temperatures will be set at most 69ºF degrees during occupied hours and maintained above 67ºF. Temperature will be setback to 60ºF during unoccupied hours. Buildings with controls on steam registers shall be set by Facilities Services staff and are not subject to setbacks.
- Summer — Temperatures will be set at least 76ºF during occupied hours and maintained below 79ºF. Temperatures will be setback to 80-85ºF during unoccupied hours. Building occupants with authorized window air conditioners shall set daytime temperatures to 76ºF and turn units down or off when leaving at the end of the day.
KU Operations schedules academic and administrative buildings for night and weekend temperature setbacks during unoccupied hours in order to reduce building energy consumption during low-demand periods.
- Facility schedules — Occupied or normal hours of operation are 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday and closed on the weekends. Unoccupied hours are those times outside of occupied or normal hours of operation. It is reasonable to have custodial staff working during unoccupied hours since unoccupied temperature set-points follow ASHRAE recommendations.
- Class schedules — Normal operating hours will be extended to accommodate evening classes during the academic semester. The Center for Sustainability will coordinate with classroom schedulers to identify the smallest number of buildings possible to accommodate academic function while achieving the highest possible energy efficiency.
- Holidays — During University recognized Holidays, KU Operations shall schedule temperature setbacks in academic and administrative buildings in order to reduce building energy consumption
To request an exemption from this policy for a special event, submit requests through Maximo a minimum of two business days prior to the event. Review of requests are done on a case-by-case basis, evaluated against ASHRAE standards and, if approved, are onetime exemptions unless otherwise specified.
Seasonal System Start-up
- Cooling Season — Chilled water cooling systems on campus will start when nighttime low temperatures are forecasted to be above freezing. All cooling needs prior to the long term forecast showing above freezing temperatures will be done with fresh air.
- Heating Season — Steam systems for perimeter steam heat/radiators on campus will start when daytime high temperatures are forecasted to be consistently below 50ºF. While in operation, steam will be shut off in areas with perimeter steam heat/radiators when temperatures are above 50ºF.
Auxiliary Heating and Cooling Mechanisms
Space heaters and personal air conditioning units are not allowed on campus due excessive energy consumption of these items and because unauthorized space heaters violate fire code.
- Space Heaters — Unauthorized use of space heaters in University buildings is not allowed due to safety and environmental concerns. The use of space heaters may cause incorrect readings of space temperatures by the thermostat and interfere with thermostat set-points or proper heating, cooling, and ventilation. Any exemption must be granted by the University Fire Marshal in coordination with the Campus Energy Manager, and if deemed necessary, must follow the University Fire Marshal Authority’s Policies. If you require a space heater based on a medical condition or disability, please contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at 785-864-4946 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All other exemptions should be requested through Maximo or by contacting Facilities Services at email@example.com or 785-864-4770.
- Window Air Conditioner Units — Window AC units are only allowed in areas designed and approved for them. Areas that are too hot should be reported to Facilities Services at 785-864-4770 or in Maximo. All solutions for areas unable to maintain the temperature set-points will be pursued, which may include, but is not limited to, a window AC unit approved by KU Operations.
- Reporting Temperature Variance — Areas that are either too hot or too cold should be reported to Facilities Services at 785-864-4770 or facilities.ku.edu so the problem can be addressed. If the temperature falls outside of the temperature set-points of 69ºF to 76ºF for occupancy, staff will investigate it to ensure that all equipment is operating correctly and make any necessary adjustments. If a resolution cannot be reached to bring the space to the set-point, an approved heating or cooling unit may be authorized.
Exterior doors are designed to be kept closed at all times in order to maintain proper temperature set-points and pressure balances. Furnishings shall not block any vents or heating elements. Devices that emit hot or cooled air cannot be placed near thermostats.
When normal campus operations are suspended, Facilities Services will conduct a “hard shut down” of select campus facilities. The following actions will be taken by Facilities Services as part of their “hard shut down” procedure:
- Building Temperature — Space temperatures will be allowed to go to the established unoccupied set point.
- Lighting — Public Safety and Facilities Services will be directed to turn off buildings lights entirely or dim them to the lowest level required for safety purposes.
- Personal Appliances and Office Equipment — Office equipment and authorized personal appliances (e.g. window air conditioning units, televisions, printers, coffee makers, etc.) must be unplugged by occupants before leaving for break. Refrigerators will be allowed to remain running for food safety and sanitary purposes. Facilities Services is authorized to unplug these items if occupants fail to do so.
- Winter or Summer Break — Facilities Services is authorized to perform “a hard shutdown” of any facility that will be unoccupied by students, faculty, staff, and visitors during winter or summer break.
KU Operations will replace failed lights with LED lamps or the most energy efficient option available. All new construction and remodels must use high efficiency lighting.
Lighting in buildings that is not required to remain on for safety reasons must be turned off whenever the space is unoccupied. This includes lights in offices, classrooms, restrooms, and other common spaces. Custodians will be responsible for turning off lights when they are finished cleaning a space during unoccupied hours.
The use of LED task lighting and natural light from windows and skylights are strongly encouraged, and should be employed before any overhead room lighting is activated. Decorative lighting is strongly discouraged.
Campus Design Requirements
New facilities shall be designed to meet the equivalent of LEED Silver certification compliance at a minimum and meet all standards for energy efficiency. Refer to the KU Design & Construction Standards for details.
KU Operations will offset energy costs resulting from new construction through efficiencies and/or use of renewable energy to ensure zero net energy growth for campus. New construction will meet or exceed ASHRAE 90.1 + 30%. KU Operations will use measurements and trends to verify projects save energy and costs as expected and that projects comply with KU Design & Construction Standards.
New construction must include the installation of a building automated control system (BACS) for enhanced energy management capabilities. The new construction’s BACS will be compatible and integrated with and connected to Facilities Services’ JCI Metasys BACS.
Computers and Office Equipment
When possible, printers, fax machines, scanners, and related office equipment should be consolidated using multi-function devices (MFD). This equipment must use built in power management features during periods of daytime inactivity and must be powered down at the end of the work day. Where multi-function devices are available, individual printers, scanners, and fax machines are no longer necessary and must be removed unless such equipment is part of an approved work place accommodation. To request a medical or disability exemption, please contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at 785-864-4946 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All other exemptions should be requested by contacting Facilities Services at email@example.com or 785-864-4770.
Peripherals and multi-function devices must be turned off when leaving at the end of the day.
Fume hoods should be operated in a manner that reduces energy consumption while following all safety guidelines. Sashes must be closed to the lowest safe level when fume hoods are in use and closed completely whenever workstations are unoccupied. Fume hood adjustment issues or operational failures should be reported immediately to Environment, Health and Safety at 785-864-4089.
Refrigerators, coffee makers, and microwave ovens are highly discouraged in individual office spaces. Shared appliances should be consolidated in common areas. Only U.S. EPA Energy Star label should be purchased. Electric burners such as hotplates and electric element burners are a fire hazard and are strictly prohibited from being used on campus. Unauthorized personal appliances shall be voluntarily removed by individuals immediately.
Unauthorized use of space heaters in University buildings is not allowed due to safety and environmental concerns. The use of space heaters may cause incorrect readings of space temperatures by the thermostat and interfere with thermostat set-points or proper heating, cooling, and ventilation. Any exemption must be granted by the University Fire Marshal in coordination with the Campus Energy Manager, and if deemed necessary, must follow the University Fire Marshal Authority’s Policies.
To request a medical or disability exemption, please contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at 785-864-4946 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All other exemptions should be requested by contacting Facilities Services at email@example.com or 785-864-4770.