The Department of Energy and Utilities manages the procurement and distribution of electricity, natural gas, and domestic water and the production and distribution of chilled water and steam for Georgetown University. At any time, this department is engaged in identifying and addressing system deficiencies, increasing system efficiency and adaptability, and expanding infrastructure and production to deal with growing campus demand.
Over the years, Georgetown has been distinguished many times for its commitment to sustainability. Georgetown is the fourth largest green power user in higher education, an impressive feat for a midsized university. Georgetown is also a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partner Leadership Club. In 2013, Georgetown was named an EPA Green Power Partner of the Year, alongside Ohio State, Cisco, and Microsoft. In 2017, Georgetown is ranked 4th in the United States in the EPA’s Top 30 College and University Partners list, 52nd in the National Top 100 list (all organizations), and 1st in the Big East Conference.
This department’s procurement policy is intended to offset more than 100% of Georgetown’s electrical usage with Green-e certified renewable energy credits (RECs). Since 2009, the department has purchased and retired these credits. Energy and Utilities is currently leading two initiatives to bring green power to Georgetown University; the installation of an on-site solar panel array and the initiation of a power purchase agreement with an off-site renewable energy plant.
Energy and Utilities is comprised of four groups. The Engineering and Administration division handles the purchase of commodities, directs the department in daily tasks, and works to improve system efficiency. The Central Plant operators and mechanics run and maintain the Central Heating and Cooling Plant, which was built in 1970 and expanded over the years to match the growing campus demand. This team monitors and cares for the campus chilled water and steam distribution network and the domestic water loop. The High Voltage electricians work to ensure the health and effectiveness of the University’s electrical grid, and the Energy Management technicians track the energy performance of campus and provide services to maintain efficiency.
The department’s past projects include a fuel cell bus program, active from 1983 to 2011, supported by the DOE, DOT and FTA and managed by the Advanced Vehicle division, and the ICC photovoltaic array, which was operational from 1984 to 2011.