UtilitiesUniversity of CincinnatiDivision of Administration and FinanceUtilities

Utilities

Utilities Distribution

This area provides utilities for over 100 buildings, over 12 million gross square feet, with an annual budget of over $57 million.   Services include: production of over 864,237 k-lbs of steam mainly for heating; 58 million ton hours of chilled water for air conditioning; 817 million gallons of water; and over 293 million kilowatt hours of electricity.  Our engineers are trained to efficiently operate and maintain the facilities and equipment, resulting in dependable utilities every day of the year.

When interruptions or shutdowns are necessary, Utility Systems' primary contact for each area is the designated building head, whose responsibility it is to notify the building's occupants. Planned shutdowns are typically arranged over a weekend to assure that classes and research activities are not interrupted. Advance notification may not be possible in an emergency situation, but every attempt will be made to work closely with the faculty, staff, and students affected by the shutdown. 

 

Fuel Usage in Campus Buildings

The buildings on campus are responsible for the largest proportion of the university’s carbon footprint.

Utility Plant

Utilities Distribution System

Steam Pipes

35,509 linear feet

Chilled Water Pipes

32,889 linear feet

Tunnels

13,947 linear feet

UC uses meter data to verify savings from high performance systems and then can justify continued capital investments in energy savings. Meter data is also used to compare the costs and returns of the high performance systems to the anticipated maintenance costs associated with traditional systems. Together, this information is used to develop strategies for reducing energy consumption for existing and future buildings as well as to establish priorities for improvements to operating sequences, for subsequent modifications, and for establishing continuous quality improvements.

Refrigerant Losses

Refrigerants are used throughout UC’s campus in air conditioning, equipment and systems that require constant cooling. Refrigerants can cause a huge impact on the concentrations in the atmosphere from a relatively small leak, and therefore they represent a potent source of GHG emissions. Implementing rigorous policies to insure that refrigerant leaks are detected immediately and repaired is important to minimize this source of emissions. Beyond this, having only certified technicians who properly dispose of the refrigerants is essential.

Interior Building Lighting Opportunities

A lighting system includes the lights that any building occupant can see, as well as elements that cannot be seen. These hidden elements include: the placement, quality, life and intensity of the bulbs, controls that regulate lights under certain lighting or occupancy conditions and the ability to modulate lighting under different scenarios. As an example, over the last decade UC has implemented campus-wide upgrades of fluorescent lighting from T-12 to the much more efficient T-8 or even T-5 in specific places.

Rather than the typical lighting system upgrades such as maintenance and bulb replacement, the 2009 plan identified installation of LED and other energy efficient fixtures and bulbs, the use of day lighting in applicable spaces and motion or infrared occupancy controls.


Exterior Lighting

The main categories of lighting at UC are street lighting, primary and secondary pedestrian walkway lighting, bollards for landscape lighting, uplights and architectural lights. Fixture types include metal halide, sodium vapor, incandescent, fluorescent and LED. For all campus lights, standards for light fixtures must be met and are encouraged to be dark-sky compliant so that skyward light is minimized..