Renewable Energy

Investing in renewable energy reflects NIU's commitment to climate action and rapid decarbonization in order to help shape a more sustainable society. Through Second Nature, we won a pro bono consulting grant to work with Coho Climate Advisors. They will help us to identify the renewable energy projects on campus that will be most beneficial in terms of opportunities for energy production and use of these spaces as living laboratories to engage with students around real-world sustainability solutions.

Energy Conservation

NIU participates in the Energy STAR Higher Education Benchmarking Initiative (HEBI). This program provides a way for colleges and universities to understand how the energy and water performance of their campus buildings compare to that of peer institutions. At this stage, the initiative is focused on a campus as a whole and does not provide building level information.

This initiative compares expected energy use based on the property type to the reported use. Compared to peer institutions, NIU's expected energy use intensity is currently above average. NIU is working with our energy provider to identify key action areas for energy efficiency and energy reduction.

Over $50 million of energy conservation improvements (lighting improvements, heating/cooling improvements, insulating improvements, etc.) have been systematically made over the past 15 years, generating about $4 million of savings annually. More energy conservation improvements are currently underway and energy conservation is a major design consideration for all repair/construction projects.

A boiler plant assessment study has been completed working toward planning for the next generation of campus steam generation infrastructure. While designs have not yet been completed, the anticipated replacement boilers will be much more efficient than the existing boilers, which have served the campus well but were installed in the 1960s.

Back to top