Energy on campus

Yale’s 2005 goal to reduce emissions has led to on-campus investments and changes to how we design and use our campus. 

Energy Supply

Our campus has significant energy needs. We do our best to ensure the energy to supply those needs is as clean and efficient as possible.
  • Continual investments in Yale’s campus power plants increase their efficiency and lower emissions.
  • A switch from fuel oil to natural gas generates cleaner energy in our power plants
  • New renewable installations enable us to generate clean energy from solar
  • The electricity we buy from the power grid gets cleaner each year, due to Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

Learn more about Yale’s energy generation on campus

Demand for Energy

Yale strives to make our buildings as efficient as possible and to help campus users and decision makers support wise energy-use. 

We build the most efficient and effective new buildings possible

Since 2009 Yale has committed to LEED Gold Green Building Certification plus requiring robust energy criteria be met.  Since 2016, Energy Use Intensity Design Targets keep energy expectations on target throughout the design of a project. Enhanced Project Turnover Standards help to guarantee performance once buildings are operational.

The Yale Science Building was designed to meet LEED Gold Certification and set an aggressive energy use target 50% lower than the average campus lab. New projects at the Yale Peabody Museum and Yale Divinity School have integrated similar approaches.

We invest in existing buildings with better technology and operations

As part of an energy strategy beginning in 2015, Yale has financed over 100 individual energy conservation measures in existing buildings across campus. Significant energy savings exceeded expectations by 25% in the first three years.

We are limited in how much of this work we can do on campus each year, since renovations can be disruptive and need a uniquely skilled work force. 

We educate and provide incentives for decision-makers for deeper change

All members of the campus community contribute to Yale’s energy use, and everyone has a role to play in helping to save energy. Incentives like the Yale Carbon Charge explore how building users might be motivated to reduce emissions. Since its launch in 2017, the program has inspired behavior change. Examples include:

  • Consolidation of buildings at one West Campus research institute 
  • Adjustments in fume hood use in laboratory spaces
  • Temperature setpoint adjustments
  • Lighting upgrades and installation of more efficient windows and heating systems
  • Building occupancy schedules changed to better reflect building usage
  • Student campaigns

Learn about ways you can Take Action to save energy