Energy Management

TU is a signatory of Second Nature's Carbon Commitment, pledging to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To meet this commitment, the university has deployed energy conservation and procurement strategies to reduce the institution’s environment impact in a fiscally responsible manner. 

Energy Use

From FY14 to FY20, TU saved $2.7 million through its Strategic Energy Procurement Plan while reducing carbon emissions more than 40 percent. The TU Energy Team proactively works to reduces the university's carbon footprint by tracking, managing, and reducing energy use on campus. This not only reduces the university's environmental impact but also minimizes utility costs.

TU has two main energy sources: electricity and natural gas. The Power Plant, which runs on natural gas, is comprised of a complex energy grid and a vast network of steam and chilled water pipelines.

Meters on campus help the Facilities Management team find trends and conservation opportunities in energy and water usage. The data also helps to identify leaks or other flaws within the energy or water infrastructure that may need to be addressed.

Since 2011, all new buildings and major renovations on campus are constructed to LEED Silver standards at minimum. To date, TU has completed over 90 energy efficiency projects that qualified for utility incentives totaling over $2.5 million through BGE’s Energy Saver’s Rebate Program. TU continues to prioritize energy conservation through its commitment to the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge.

TU Facilities Management staff constantly monitors the campus’ energy consumption. Visit the TU dashboard for real time data.

Visit the Dashboard

TU voluntarily purchases 60 percent renewable energy sourced from wind and solar, double Maryland’s minimum requirement.

More about Renewable Energy

Energy FAQs

Towson University's annual energy use of electricity is 75M kWh. Its annual use of natural gas is 2.5M Therms.

TU's two sources of energy are electricity and natural gas.  In addition, the university currently purchases 60 percent renewable energy.

TU has 4,000 solar panels on the rooftops of Barton and Douglass Houses, General Services, University Union and Union Garage. These five solar arrays on campus produce over 1.5 MWh a year.

  • Set your thermostat 2 degrees higher than normal during the summer and 2 degrees lower in the winter time.
  • Invest in LED light bulbs. They save energy, and last longer than conventional bulbs.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  • Power off monitors, printers, and other electronics when not in use.
  • Unplug "vampire" devices when not in use (ex: cell phone chargers, hair dryers, microwaves, coffee makers, gaming consoles).
  • Does your computer need to stay on? Utilize the sleep function.
  • Use a smart power strip or rechargeable batteries.
  • Take advantage of natural lighting, and keep lamps or lights off.

In the world of energy, "CHP" stands for "combined heat and power." Learn more about CHP on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) website.

A History of Energy Conservation

The Office of Energy has been developing fiscally and environmentally responsible conservation strategies since its inception in 2011. Some of these strategies include participating in rebate programs, replacing inefficient and outdated fixtures, monitoring metered data, and optimizing temperature set points for buildings.

TU's Office of Energy reports its energy savings to the state of Maryland on a yearly basis. You can find the report for FY2020 here.

Recent Achievements

2020

  • Completed installation of energy recovery and VRF systems in several academic buildings and residence halls. 
  • Received $1.7 million in BGE rebates for new construction and renovation projects.

2019

  • Received $2.5 million in BGE rebates for new construction and renovation projects.
  • Began purchasing 50 percent renewable energy.
  • Completed installation of Variable Frequency Drives on HVAC Pumps and Air Handlers across campus.
  • Upgraded both major sports arenas, SECU and Towson Center, from HID lighting to LED lighting with occupancy controls and automation reducing lighting energy by 60 percent and saving the University over $120,000 annually.

2018

  • Revised energy reduction goal to align with the Governor's Executive Order. New goal of 10 percent reduction by 2028 from a 2018 baseline.

2017

  • Reached 20 percent energy reduction goal (Better Buildings Challenge) 3 years ahead of schedule--one of the first ten universities in the country to do so.
  • Set new voluntary goal of 25 percent energy reduction from 2010 baseline.
  • Installed a 1.3MW, 4000 panel Solar PV System on: Union Garage, University Union, General Services, Barton House, Douglass House.

2016

  • Completed upgrading 28 building transformers to premium efficiency in all 4 Glen Towers. 
  • Developed an enhanced building scheduling process taking advantage of building automation system. 
  • Developed a temperature set-point policy for residence halls and academic buildings. 
  • Implemented Chiller and HVAC optimization, which fine tuned air-handler & pump speeds.