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Since 1990, education and general (E&G) space on campus has grown by 56 percent. At the same time, Energy Management (EM) has reduced energy usage by 21 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 62 percent on a square foot basis. Annual cost avoidance totals $9.1 million, with a cumulative cost avoidance of $78.1 million since 1990.



More than 99 percent of the exterior lighting and 90 percent of the interior lighting on campus has been converted to high efficiency lighting. LED is the campus standard for new and major renovation projects and moving forward, parking garages and exterior lights will also be LED.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors in thousands of classrooms, offices, conference rooms and laboratories turn off lights and set back thermostats when spaces are unoccupied.

Efficiency Upgrades of Building Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

Reduced Building Energy Use and Analysis

All buildings are fully metered for energy consumption. Buildings showing potential energy saving opportunities are audited and energy conservation projects are implemented.

Window Film/Tinting

Window film or tinted glass is used on new buildings and renovations to reduce excess radiant heating during the summer months.

Water Reduction Projects

To eliminate waste-water cooling, installation of sensors on sinks and fixtures in restrooms, and other water conservation efforts have decreased water use by 48 percent since 1990.

Chilled Water Loop

By installing 25 miles of underground chilled water loop piping and connecting most of the major campus buildings to the loop, we have reduced the number of chillers required by 60 percent. By taking advantage of the efficiencies inherent in the chilled water loop system, the energy used to provide cooling to campus has been reduced significantly.

Free Cooling

During the winter months, we take advantage of cold outside air to produce chilled water from “free cooling” heat exchangers to cool research equipment.

Efficient Energy Production

MU uses Combined Cooling, Heat, and Power (CCHP) technologies to produce steam, chilled water for cooling, and electricity for the campus. The efficiency of this process is nearly twice that of conventional “electric only” power plants, reducing fuel use and emissions.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy makes up more than 34 percent of the total campus energy supply. Currently, MU is on the Top 30 On-Site Generation List, behind Walmart, Apple and the U.S. Department of Energy, and ranked fourth nationally in on-site green energy in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. MU also is ranked No. 11 for green users among higher-education institutions. MU’s renewable energy portfolio includes:

Biomass CHP Energy

Most of MU’s renewable energy is sourced from regional biomass fuel, which is used to produce steam and electricity. MU’s biomass boiler uses more than 100,000 tons annually of biomass from regionally sourced biomass, mostly using wood residues from Missouri saw mills and wood product companies. The biomass boiler technology supports the use of other possible regional biomass sources such as corn stover, switchgrass and miscanthus.

Wind Energy

A significant portion of the electricity MU purchases, 62 percent in FY16, is purchased from an off-site wind farm. Additionally, MU locally demonstrates the use of wind energy on its campus with a 20 kw wind turbine generator, which is used as a teaching resource for MU class groups and organizations.

Solar Energy

MU has several solar energy systems located on campus. At the campus power plant, a 34kw photovoltaic (PV) solar which makes electricity for campus using an array of 144 poly-crystalline PV panels, and another 2.4 kw system is located at the Research Reactor. There is a solar thermal heating system which uses evacuated tube technology to collect thermal energy from the sun to heat make up water for the plant’s boilers at the power plant. A solar thermal heating system was also recently added at Gateway Hall to supplement domestic hot water heating.

Education and Outreach

Campus Facilities and Energy Management produce a number of presentations and advertisements to encourage MU faculty, staff and students to conserve energy. Additionally, engineers in the Energy Management Department assist professors with tours and presentations, and Campus Facilities educates the public on energy-conservation programs.

In 2016, EM staff worked with MU journalism student Suzanne LeBel to write a script and shoot a video for the International District Energy Association’s annual Campus Energy Video Contest. The video highlights the ways in which EM’s guiding principles — reliability, efficiency and sustainability — shape its actions.

Looking Ahead

Campus facilities and Energy Management plan to implement the following projects:

  • Retrofitting or replacing fume hoods with more energy-efficient technology during renovation projects
  • Upgrading HVAC controls in additional campus buildings using more energy-efficient technologies
  • Continuing to install motion sensors on lighting and HVAC systems
  • Continuing to upgrade the Energy Management Control System to increase energy savings
  • Updating campus energy policies to the latest standards
  • Increasing energy-conservation awareness across campus
  • Continuing evaluation of utility production efficiency improvement opportunities