Energy Efficiency

MU is a national leader in efficiently producing and using energy on our campus, yielding significant financial and sustainability benefits. Efficiency starts with the production and delivery of campus utilities to campus buildings, followed by effective use and further reductions with energy conservation efforts. This proactive approach to reducing the cost of the campus energy supply is paying off.

While campus building space has grown, energy use per square foot is lower and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions have been significantly reduced.  Check out the Energy Facts and Figures page for the latest cost avoidance and environmental benefits.

Combined Cooling Heat & Power

MU utilizes a process called Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) to maximize the efficiency of utility production for the campus. Steam and electricity are produced simultaneously at the plant resulting in an overall efficiency of nearly twice that of a conventional power plant. A portion of the steam and electricity is then used to produce cold water in various chiller plants to cool campus buildings. The higher efficiencies realized with CCHP reduce the consumption of fuels, saving cost for MU while at the same time reducing emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions. MU participates in EPA’s Energy Star CHP partnership, to learn more link to

Building Energy Automation and Commissioning

Utilities delivered to MU buildings are metered to track energy consumption. We manage building use through a computerized automation system which controls and optimizes the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting systems and mechanical equipment in the buildings. The process control network allows constant monitoring, system adjustments, programming, troubleshooting, and trending. Energy Management also performs commissioning of HVAC systems for new and renovated buildings to ensure the systems are operating efficiently while providing comfort for the building occupants.  Automated and physical re-commissioning is performed as needed to make sure buildings remain efficient.   

Energy Conservation

Energy Management works very hard to reduce the amount of energy used at MU. Since the formal conservation was implemented in 1990, the campus has significantly reduced its utility costs. The primary goal of the program is to reduce energy costs in existing space by 1 percent annually and the campus has considerably exceeded the goal with an actual average annual reduction of 1.5 percent since the inception of the program.  After the initial project investments are paid back through energy savings, the campus receives the ongoing savings through reduced utility costs. Additional benefits include reduced emissions and deferred capital investment in plant production equipment. Energy conservation projects include:

  • Upgrade interior and exterior lighting to high-efficiency lighting, like LED
  • Replace inefficient building heating and cooling ventilation systems and equipment
  • Install motion sensors to automate lights and thermostats by space occupancy
  • Install networked energy controls which optimize efficiency and customer comfort
  • Implement energy standards for new and renovated buildings to ensure continued efficiency
  • Educating the campus community on the benefits of energy conservation