Water & Energy

Reducing Impact, Improving Efficiency

Denver's unique climate makes sustainability especially important for us. With very little average rainfall each year, water conservation is essential, and our warm summers and snowy winters incur a host of energy costs. In step with changing technology, we've been working hard to eliminate as much waste in water and energy use as possible, reducing our impact on the environment while bolstering our ability to exemplify change on an institutional level.

Across campus, we've initiated water savings and energy reduction programs targeting the largest areas of consumption, such as irrigation, heating and cooling, thereby challenging prior standards of waste and cutting down on emissions across the board.

Energy Saving Tactics

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    Converting to LED lighting in academic buildings, residences and parking structures

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    Switching to renewable energy sources on campus and through Colorado utilities

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    Reducing heating and cooling demands through smarter occupancy settings

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    Teaching our community to conserve on campus and at home

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High Standards for Energy Efficiency

In collaboration with our facilities team, we've developed an aggressive energy reduction program that aims to curb wasted power and cut emissions. With a target of reaching campus-wide carbon neutrality by 2050, we're installing renewable energy tools, renovating our buildings, and engaging with our community to promote thoughtful use of energy. DU is in the process of working with experts to create a plan for reaching our 2050 carbon neutrality goal through energy efficiency and other energy generation steps.

Learn more about Energy Management

18 buildings equipped with solar panels

10 million kWh annual energy savings through reductions and design innovation

38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006

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Ritchie Center Energy Savings

The Ritchie Center, which houses DU's athletics, is one of the largest facilities on campus, and therefore a prime target for efficiency upgrades. New solar panel installations will deliver 850 kWh of renewable electricity, 14 percent of the Ritchie Center's energy demands. New upgrades to our world-class indoor swimming pool have reduced water consumption by a full 49 percent, while new lighting tech alone saves enough electricity to power over 200 Colorado homes.

Only the Water We Need

Efficient Irrigation

Over the last ten years, we've dramatically rethought how we use water on campus, leading to a 40 percent drop in exterior water usage. 

Better Fixtures

In buildings all across campus, we've installed more efficient water fixtures, including low-flow or dual-flow toilets and energy-saving showers in residences.

Smart Planting

Grounds crews are increasing areas planted with wildflowers, xeriscape, and drought-tolerant plants, which is helping us think about what plants are appropriate for Denver's climate.

Sustainability Stories