Energy Conservation and Efficiency

Boiler 3 Central Plant 631x352 Georgetown is taking significant steps to cut our energy demand and use energy more efficiently, an important part of our approach to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

In FY14, the university invested in a set of conservation initiatives that are helping save a combined 500,000 kWh of electricity annually, enough to power about 53 typical US homes, and cutting about 3,400 metric tons of CO2, equal to taking about 716 cars off the road each year.

Explore the links and information below to learn more about our efficiency and conservation work.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Initiatives

Commitment to LEED Buildings: GU is committed to obtaining LEED Silver or higher for all new construction and major renovations. The LEED rating system includes a significant emphasis on energy efficiency, helping ensure that our new buildings use energy more efficiently. Read more >>

District Heating and Cooling: Georgetown uses district heating and cooling to control temperatures in our buildings at our Main and Medical campuses, an approach which allows for significant efficiencies through scale.

Building Energy Retrofits: Facilities Management implements building energy retrofits as part of their ongoing operations. Several examples of recent energy-efficiency retrofits include:

  • In August 2016, Georgetown University completed a retrofit of its Alumni Square residence hall, replacing all of the gas furnaces and air conditioners with more efficient models, and replacing the water heaters in each individual unit with shared, tankless water heaters. As a result of these efficiency upgrades, the University will save nearly $18,000 per year and reduce emissions by 382 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of over 36 average homes.
  • In FY2014, a multi-building steam trap replacement project is saving about 17,000 mmBtu of natural gas and 902 metric tons of CO2e, equal to taking about 190 cars off the road each year.
  • In FY2012, a lighting retrofit in the Southwest Garage is helping cut an estimated 1 million pounds of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking about 55 US homes off the grid.

Building Energy Audits: In FY14, Georgetown sponsored Level I ASHRAE Energy Audits for over 40 buildings on campus. The audits identified over 400 unique Energy Conservation Measures and are helping inform long-range energy plans for the campus.

Building Automation System: Our energy management team uses a centralized, digital building automation system which allows for the control of temperatures and efficient energy use in campus buildings.

Retrofits at Central Heating and Cooling Plant: Georgetown’s Office of Utilities and Energy Management regularly upgrades the Central Plant, providing ongoing efficiencies. Most recently, in FY14, a boiler fan upgrade, steam trap repairs and a de-aerator project are helping cut an estimated annual 2,508 metric tons of CO2e, equal to taking about 528 cars off the road each year.

Engagement and Planning

Behavior-change and Engagement Initiatives: Programs like the Switch It Off Challenge, a student competition to save energy between Residence Halls, and the GU Campus Energy Conservation Program, a voluntary curtailment program to engage faculty and staff, help involve the campus community in reducing energy demand and cutting carbon.

Collaboration and Partnerships: Georgetown works to establish active partnerships and collaborations with campus and community partners such as the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) in support of our climate and sustainability commitments. Click HERE to read about our recent collaboration with the DCSEU to save energy at the central plant.

Sustainability Planning and Carbon Roadmap: As part of our ongoing 2017 Master Planning initiative, Georgetown is developing an action plan to meet our climate and sustainability commitments.


Click HERE to learn even more about GU’s leadership on energy and climate and our work to cut our carbon footprint.