Past Projects

Energy Management Team

Beginning in 1995, Duke's Facilities Management Department formed an Energy Management Team to aggressively reduce the University's resource use.  Below is a summary of actions:

Rebuild America Award
Duke University Facilities Management won Rebuild America's National Energy Champion Award in 1998 & 2002
  • The team began by identifying 10 buildings with abnormally high energy and water usage.  With a $300,000 line of credit, they retrofit the lights, steam traps, sensors and motors in those buildings, producing a simple payback of 2.5 years.
  • Based on this initial experience, the team requested a $3.4 million loan from the Board of Trustees to implement 46 individual projects, achieving annual savings of nearly $1 million.
  • Best Practices luncheons were organized to share the team's experience with the Medical Center and hospitals, as well as local city and educational entities.

Green Power Challenge

In November 2002, students from Environmental Alliance proposed energy conservation measures for the school that were adopted by the Facilities Management Department (FMD).  FMD implemented the measures over winter break and estimated the savings at $800,000 over 10 years. 

Duke Green PowerIn February 2003, a group of Environmental Alliance (EA) members proposed that the University should use some of those savings to purchase green energy.  In particular, they asked the University to put up $25,000 to challenge-match student, faculty and staff purchases of wind power.

In April 2003, EA launched the Duke Green Power Challenge, an ambitious campaign to sign-up students, faculty and staff for 1,250 kwh blocks of wind power at $25 a piece. The effort garnered positive support in the student newspaper and 500 participants in just 4 weeks.