Because purchased electricity and other sources of energy production account for 69% of UNCG’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s critical that the university implement initiatives that increase energy efficiency in existing and future buildings. Likewise, it’s important that everyone in our campus community take responsibility for their personal energy use in their offices and dorms. 25,000 people making eco-conscientious decisions, like turning off lights and computers when not in use and complying with UNCG's Standards of Comfort, all help reduce UNCG’s greenhouse gas emissions.
UNCG’s total annual electricity consumption (kWh) for FY21 increased by 9% compared to FY09 and 18% since 2003, but remained essentially the same compared to FY20, most likely a result of reduced occupancy and operations due to the pandemic over the past two fiscal years. For comparison, just three years ago (FY18) UNCG saw an increase of 17% kWh compared to FY09. This has also been a decade in which the university has seen substantial growth in square footage and population. However, we are happy to report that energy and water consumption per gross square foot at UNCG have decreased significantly since 2003, the baseline year established by the State of North Carolina. Overall, UNCG has reduced total kWh of electricity per square foot by 25% since 2003. Likewise, natural gas consumption per gross square foot has been reduced by 14% since 2003. Though we continue to grow in size, we do so efficiently.
Overall, UNCG decreased Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 21% since FY03, although our EUI (99,942 BTU/GSF) for 2020-21 did increase by 4% compared to previous year when the University had record low consumption of 96,283 BTU/GSF. The increase was partially due to colder winter weather and to the Nursing and Instructional Building coming online.
Additionally, UNCG continued to participate in the State of North Carolina’s Utility Savings Carry Forward program (HB 1292). The related utilities savings going into FY22 was $981,009 with a total of $4.41 million in avoided costs over the past seven years since the start of the program.