Utilities and Energy Management

Sustainability is one of the three core lenses that guide the work we do at Colorado College and managing our resources, including energy and water, is one of the key ways we contribute to this important goal.  In 2009 Colorado College made an institutional commitment to become a carbon neutral campus by 2020.  We eventually achieved this goal with a variety of campus initiatives, with energy management being key to achieving the required reduction in emissions. 

Energy management is important for many reasons; including carbon reduction, utility cost savings, and system and equipment maintenance savings.  Between 2008 and 2020, on-campus emissions were reduced by 75% by focusing on management of energy resources and increasing efficiency.  Energy projects undertaken during this time included:

-Water efficiency and savings

–LED lighting retrofits and controls upgrades

–Solar PV installations: ~500kW of PV on campus and investment in solar gardens and CSU Green Power program

–HVAC controls and central plant efficiency upgrades

–Equipment replacements: boilers, chillers, AC

–Building retrofits: non-traditional HVAC systems

We continue to track and benchmark energy for all buildings on campus and regularly review where savings and efficiency opportunities lie.  From this benchmarking and review we determine where to invest project money that will have the highest potential for life cycle savings and return on investment. 


Energy Benchmarking

In fiscal year 2022 (FY22) the Colorado College campus totaled nearly nearly 2.4 million square feet and the overall energy usage intensity (EUI) was 81.5 kBtu/ft².  In our baseline year of 2008 the campus was at an EUI of 105.2 kBtu/ft².  We have reduced campus energy on a per square foot basis by nearly 23% since 2008 with energy management and efficiency efforts.  





Utility cost savings since 2008 are over $8.5M!


Renovations to buildings are a key time to implement energy savings features and innovative technology.  We focus on making the HVAC, electrical, plumbing and building envelope systems as efficient as possible during new construction and building renovations.
Innovation is key to energy management and sustainability.  Some of the technologies we have used are variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and ground source heat pump (GSHP) HVAC systems, energy recovery systems, solar PV, LED lighting, green roofs, LED lighting and daylight harvesting.

Since 2008 we have saved over 450,000,000 gallons of water on campus through a variety of measures.  Some of the project highlights are saving 3,500,000 gallons of water at the central plant per year with a 2018 project to recover pump bearing cooling water, and converting all irrigation sprinkler heads on campus to low flow.




Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and ground source heat pump (GSHP) HVAC systems have been implemented in several buildings across campus during renovations or new construction projects.  These systems have proved to be extremely energy efficient, reliable and maintainable.  The average building retrofitted with a VRF or GSHP system operates at half of the energy compared to the rest of the campus buildings.  




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Report an issue - Last updated: 06/08/2023

Contact Information

Michael Brubaker; P.E.; C.E.M.
Campus Operations & Plant Manager
Colorado College Facilties Services

Van Briggle Building 105a
1125 Glen Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Phone: (719) 389-7115
Fax: (719) 389-6981

Contact Us

After-hours/Emergency Contact

Central Plant: (719) 389-6522

Hours of Operation

Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.