Utilities & Energy Management

Central Campus Power Plant

Campus Utilities

Utilities Services manages all aspects of the generation, distribution, and metering of energy for all university campuses. The University's utilities facilities include:

  • Central Power Plant (CPP)
  • Sterling Power Plant (SPP)
  • West Campus Power Plant (WCPP)
  • Central Campus Chiller Plant (CCCP)

These plants generate and/or distribute steam for heating, chilled water for air conditioning and electric power. These services are distributed to buildings through underground distribution systems. Also included in this group is the engineering support for the following areas:

  • Energy Management & Conservation
  • Technical Services
  • Specifications and Guidelines
  • Technical Documentation and Records

Energy Management at Yale University

Thermal energy for most buildings in the Central and Science areas of the Yale campus is produced in the Central Power Plant. The Sterling Power Plant serves the Medical School Area and Yale New Haven Hospital. Steam and chilled water produced in the plants are distributed to the buildings in underground tunnels or in direct buried pipes. Electricity is either purchased from the utility company or generated in the Central co-generation plant and distributed for the central and science areas of the campus.

Optimum use of energy is controlled by Direct Digital Control systems in individual buildings, and monitored by a Central Building Utilities Metering System. Energy conservation is an inherent part of the control and monitoring systems.

The following is a tabular representation of the University standard temperatures, relative humidity (RH) and central air handling unit operation policy.

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Yale Standards for Space Heating & Cooling

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  Summer Occupied Summer Unoccupied Winter Occupied Winter Unoccupied Winter Recess Relative Humidity Air Supply
Dormitory 75 +/- N/A 68 +/- 65°-68° F night setback 60° F T-setback N/A N/A
Classroom 75 +/- HVAC off/temp. uncontrolled 68 +/- 65° F night setback 60° F T-setback N/A Summer Unoccupied Off
Offices 75 +/- HVAC off/temp. uncontrolled 68 +/- 65° F night setback 60° F T-setback N/A Summer Unoccupied Off
Laboratory as Required 75 +/- 78°-80° F night setback 68 +/- 65° F night setback 60° F T-setback 50% RH Summer/Winter Unoccupied Setback
Library 75 +/- 78°-80° F night setback 68 +/- 65° F night setback 60° F T-setback 30-50% RH Summer/Winter Unoccupied Setback
Book Stacks 70 +/- 70° F 68 +/- 68° F 68° 50% RH On
Assembly, Dining Hall, etc. 75 +/- HVAC off/temp. uncontrollec 68 +/- 65° F night setback 60° F T-setback N/A Summer Unoccupied Off

Production & Distribution of Energy

Steam is produced in the power plant burning either natural gas or oil with maximum efficiency and minimum pollution. It is distributed underground to the buildings where it is used for either direct heating, for re-heating of hot water for heating, and use in the showers, bathrooms, etc., or as process steam used in the kitchen, laboratories, etc. Steam releases its energy (in radiators, heat exchangers, etc), and is returned to the power plant as the most efficient feed water for the boilers, since it retains its thermal energy (120-180o F), and is chemically treated.

The University's energy conservation effort is focused on optimum utilization of equipment for steam generation, optimum production of steam in the boilers as well as on maximum return of condensate to the power plants.

Chilled water is produced in the power plant with maximum efficiency using either electricity or steam. The production is optimized utilizing the available equipment in the most economical way to meet the actual load of the campus. The chilled water supplied to the buildings is 42o F in the summer and 44o F in the winter, and is at sufficient pressure and flow to meet the cooling demand of the buildings.

The University's energy conservation effort is focused on optimum utilization of equipment for chill water production, optimization of chill water supply temperature, optimization of the cooling tower operations, and optimization of chill water pressure.

Electrical energy for the Central and Science areas of the campus is generated in the Central Power Plant, which is a co-generation plant. The local utility company services the Medical School area. The co-generation plant generates normal power as well as back-up power. Both are distributed to the individual buildings.

The University's energy conservation effort is focused on optimum utilization of generating equipment and minimization of energy purchases from the utility company.

Steam, chill water and electricity are distributed from the plants to the buildings. Each building is individually metered and billed for energy usage. The building users and occupants have access to the building utilities metering system's data via the web.

Here is the web address: pub-max.facilities.yale.edu/Maxweb

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Energy Initiative

Becton Center Turbines

The production and use of energy from fossil fuels impacts our climate and community, and has become increasingly expensive as resources become scarcer. As a result of these impacts, in 2005 Yale President, Richard Levin, committed the University to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 43% below 2005 levels by 2020. To accomplish this ambitious goal, Yale University has embarked upon an ambitious energy program improving the efficiency of its power plants, updating buildings, utilizing emerging technologies, and searching for clean energy alternative sources as part of its energy use portfolio. To learn more about how Yale is progressing toward its goal click here.

Equally important, however, are the patterns and habits of energy use by students, faculty, staff and administrators. The example we set, as individuals and as a community, is also important as the rest of the world tackles its own energy challenges.

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Energy Management Tools

Utility Shutdowns

Lists service outage dates, times, and effected buildings.

Energy Usage Explorer

Tool for seeing energy usage of specific buildings at Yale University.