As of Duke’s 2008 greenhouse gas inventory, energy use comprised 76 percent of campus emissions, resulting in a significant impact on the environmental footprint of the University. According to the inventory, 52 percent of Duke’s carbon emissions were derived from the purchase of electricity, while another 24 percent resulted from steam production on campus. Duke’s Climate Action Plan outlines measures to reduce emissions from energy use, such as moving completely off coal for campus steam production, key energy conservation initiatives, and installing solar PV on campus buildings.
The Duke Utilities & Engineering Services (DUES) in the Facilities Management Department provides utilities to both University and Medical Center facilities on and around East and West Campus. Utilities provided include Steam, Chilled Water, High Voltage Electricity, Water and Sewer, and Stormwater. As of April 2011, Duke elminated the use of coal in steam plants on campus. Duke’s centralized production and distribution of chilled water facilitates electrical and water efficiency, resulting in a 20% improvement in chilled water production electrical efficiency compared to a previously decentralized system. Learn more about utilities at Duke.
Energy Star Policy
Duke's Energy Star Policy ensures that electronics and appliances purchased by the university do not waste energy. Energy Star's high efficiency standards certify that products bearing the Energy Star logo are a wise investment, minimizing our energy consumption now, and long into the future. Staff, students and faculty can find more information on the Energy Star Policy, and find assistance for making Energy Star purchases here.
The University provides as many as 900 Compact Flourescent Light (CFL) bulbs to incoming freshmen each year in exchange for the less efficient incandescent bulbs that many of the new students bring in lamps. CFL bulbs use roughly 1/4th the energy of incandescent bulbs, providing energy savings that compensate for the bulbs in two years. Find more information on this program here.
For decades, Duke University has taken steps towards energy conservation and energy efficiency on campus. Past projects include the Duke Green Power Challenge and efforts of Duke's award-winning Energy Management Team within the Facilities Management Department. Read more about past energy saving projects at Duke University.