A skateboarder joins bicyclists pedaling in the bike lane along University Avenue against a backdrop of car lights and rush hour-traffic

Energy Efficiency

University Housing is committed to reducing energy use and emissions throughout our facilities. Various transportation, heating/cooling, and lighting initiatives allow Housing maintain and enhance energy efficiency.

  • LED lighting is prioritized whenever possible. In the last 5 years, over 40% of all lightbulbs in Housing buildings have been replaced with LEDs.
  • Rooftop solar panels at Gordon produce 42,800 kWh of electricity a year, or the energy use of five typical Wisconsin homes. See live data on the online dashboard.
  • Energy Star rated appliances are installed during remodels as standard practice to use approximately 20% less energy and 35% less water when compared to conventional counterparts.
  • The Leopold greenhouse energy efficient cooling system provides a comfortable working and learning environment for GreenHouse residents
  • Housing supports residents in using public and green transportation, especially the free 80 route offered on campus and the nearby Lakeshore Path
  • Bicycles are available for staff to use
  • Zipcars are accessible to University Apartments residents
  • Bicycle parking and maintenance stations are available to residents and staff
  • Efficient and low-speed vehicles are prioritized when purchasing new staff vehicles
  • Dining delivery vehicles operate on bio-fuel and follow a no-idling policy
  • Individual temperature controls in resident rooms allow residents to heat and cool space as needed. Energy efficiency guidelines are shared at move in.
  • Buildings are monitored by a computerized system to efficiently address heating and cooling issues that arise in buildings
  • Rooftop solar panels assist with hot water heating at Dejope and Leopold
  • Natural ventilation, fan coil units, and energy recovery wheels enhance efficiency and comfort in Chadbourne, Dejope, and Leopold
  • Resident room refrigerators are Energy Star rated with an estimated 207 kWh annual electricity demand
  • 90% of the boilers in University Apartments have been replaced with Energy Star boilers with 96% efficiency
  • Ventilation systems use MERV 13 or better filters (IAQ) which improve air quality and increase HVAC efficiency

Bike, take the bus, or carpool when you travel

When driving home for breaks, share a ride

Use a community ZipCar

Use energy efficient lighting

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) consume less energy and have longer lifetimes than Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and incandescent light bulbs.

Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use, especially when leaving for a long weekend or break. Appliances can still draw phantom energy if plugged in when not in use. Use outlet power strips for TVs, consoles, chargers, and other electronics to easily turn off several items at once.

Only wash full loads of laundry or combine loads with a friend

Use cold cycles and hang dry clothes instead of using the dryer.

Have an idea on how to improve energy efficiency in Housing buildings? Submit a proposal to the Green Fund. Many of the Housing energy saving projects mentioned (Gordon solar, LED lighting upgrades, and the Leopold evaporative cooling system) have been student-driven and supported financially by the Green Fund.