Sustainable Energy at UM
Energy waste contributes to harmful pollution which is bad for the health of our communities and environment. Because of this important fact, UM reduced energy consumption by over 22 percent between 2005 and 2015. The university now aims to reduce energy use by 10 percent before fiscal year 2026.
The university continues to grow. As a result, designing energy efficient buildings, updating infrastructure and planning for responsible use of resources is a priority among campus planner and administrators.
In addition to the projects and policies listed below, Facilities Management regularly monitors UM’s energy use and performs infrastructure upgrades.
UM Energy Committee
The UM Energy Committee continues to explore strategies for increasing energy efficiency on campus and decreasing energy waste. The committee convenes three to four times annually. They work on topics ranging from campus energy use trends to future recommendations.
Energy Committee members are: Ian Banner (committee chair), University Architect, Facilities Planning and Office of Sustainability; Lindsey Abernathy, Office of Sustainability; John Adrian, Provost’s Office; Darien Dye, Student Housing; Del Hawley, School of Business Administration; Robert Martin, energy coordinator; Cris Surbeck, School of Engineering; Joe Swingle, Athletics Facilities
Rebel Energy Challenge
The Rebel Energy Challenge is a competition led by the Eco Rep program among residence halls to reduce their energy consumption. The participants in the Rebel Energy Challenge sign pledges to reduce energy waste. They also swap incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. Residence Hall 1 was the winner of the challenge in 2018. Luckyday Residential College won the challenge in 2017.
TVA Energy Efficiency Grant
In April 2017, the university celebrated the close of a three-year grant program with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Through the grant program, the university created the UM Energy Committee and the UM Energy Plan. Through Through the implementation of the UM Energy Plan, the university will save $217,000 and 2.7 million kilowatt hours annually. This savings is equivalent to the total energy consumed by 200 homes for one year.
Renewable Energy Certificates
In spring 2017, the University of Mississippi purchased 3,835 renewable energy certificates, offsetting 3 percent of institution-wide electricity use from fiscal year 2016. The purchase was originally a recommendation from the UM Energy Committee. As a result of the purchase, the university can reduce greenhouse gas pollution, support the development of renewable energy technologies and practice resource stewardship. To learn more about how renewable energy certificates work to reduce energy waste and support environmental health, click here.
Energy Related Policies
Energy Management Policy
The University of Mississippi Energy Management policy outlines several energy reduction strategies. It asks that all UM employees familiarize themselves with the behavior-related tactics, which include turning off office equipment in the evening and using power saving modes, utilizing daylighting instead of overhead lighting when comfortable and feasible, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator if a person is able. Read the full policy here.
Energy Star Purchasing Policy
The Energy Star purchasing policy states that “university departments are encouraged to seek out and purchase Energy Star products whenever possible or feasible.” Energy Star products are independently certified for energy efficiency and are marked with the Energy Star logo. Products range from offices supplies like computers, monitors and data storage devices to appliances, building products and lighting. Read the full policy here.