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Virginia Commonwealth University’s utilities — including electricity, natural gas, water, sewage and fuel oil — are purchased and managed centrally by VCU Utilities Department, within the Facilities Management Division’s Physical Plant Department. Steam is generated on site in central power plants and distributed to connected buildings on each campus.

The energy manager currently oversees a variety of campus initiatives to improve energy conservation and reduce costs associated with energy usage. Completed projects include:

Learn more about our home energy assessment campaign, in partnership with the Richmond Region Energy Alliance

  • Developing a heat recovery project at the VCU Life Sciences Building to recover the heat in the building’s exhaust air
  • Installing more than 200 occupancy sensors that turn off office lights when areas are unoccupied
  • Replacing more than 50 steam traps on the MCV Campus for the recovery of lost condensate, saving both water and the heat necessary to reheat the water prior to making steam
  • Installing a small solar hot water system to heat water at the Ginter House
  • Installing a photovoltaic system at the MCV Campus Steam Plant to reduce the amount of electricity
  • Exploring the option of induction lighting and LED lighting for select areas of the university

Current efforts by VCU Energy Management have saved the university more than $1 million to date.

View the Energy and Conservation Policy[PDF]

Energy Cost Percentage Chart

VCU’s energy mix

Using VCU’s building dashboard

The energy dashboard gives our students, faculty and employees a better understanding of our ongoing progress to reduce utility usage and greenhouse gas emissions through various methods.

Learn how to use the dashboard. [PDF]


An annual Energy Conservation and Management Plan is developed and submitted to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The plan gives details on energy conservation measures and equipment upgrades in university buildings.

As part of Virginia’s Executive Order 48, which requires all state agencies to reduce energy costs by 25 percent by 2012 based on 2006 usage rates, VCU achieved 100 percent of its $1.6 million total cost reduction. On July 1, 2010, Executive Order 19 was signed and requires each state agency to “Develop and employ efficiency tools with the goal of reducing its annual energy use by at least 5 percent for fiscal year 2012 (compared to fiscal year 2010).” VCU is committed to meeting this goal.

Plan for 2011

Download the energy management plan for 2011. [PDF]