Energy Conservation


Philadelphia University participates in a program sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) to ensure the University is in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations. The program is the result of agreements between the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and AICUP and required peer environmental audits of each institution.

The University identifies and implements energy conservation practices which prove to be financially beneficial and environmentally sound. Some of the efforts include:

  • A public relations effort during the cooling season to set back thermostats in air-conditioned spaces when the buildings or spaces are not occupied. 
  • Coupled with the effort to encourage staff and faculty to reduce air conditioning, the physical plant has the ability to reset the computer controlled thermostats on campus to match the occupancies of the buildings.
  • The installation of energy efficient fluorescent lighting. This effort included the replacement of older less efficient fluorescent tubes in classrooms and other public spaces with higher efficiency tubes and in some cases, LED bulbs type and the replacement of incandescent bulbs in residence halls and offices with compact fluorescents.
  • Encouraging the use of bicycles on campus through the recent installation of additional bike racks at Independence Plaza and the parking garage.

Lights Out Cleaning Program

In an effort to reduce energy consumption, the housekeeping staff begins cleaning office buildings at 5:00 PM and academic buildings at 10:00 PM.  The buildings are team-cleaned, meaning 2 or more staff members work together to get a building cleaned or a floor completed in the academic buildings, thus reducing the need for unnecessary lighting, air conditioning or heat throughout the night.

PJM Electrical Grid Programs and Electrical Peak Management

The nation’s major electrical grids are becoming more reliant on their make-up of micro-grids within their portfolio of customers. For a number of years Philadelphia University has participated in volunteer programs of reducing its power consumption on a volunteer basis during critical times to avoid brown-outs etc.

More recently PJM, through aggregators such as Johnson Controls, has become more proactive in leveraging those capabilities.  Philadelphia University now participates in several programs that keep our energy usage either level or reduced during these times.  This has a double benefit through financial payback to the University, as well as reducing the emissions that come about when utility companies put their least efficient resources on-line to keep the grid functional. These programs also give the grid and Philadelphia University enhanced reliability.

Through investment in controls and generation, the University can now reduce its electrical usage by approximately 1 megawatt of power, or approximately 40%, within minutes of notification. This was demonstrated by the graph in the link below when we were notified that a Limerick nuclear reactor was unexpectedly being taken off-line 5/31/2011: PhilaU power reduction