Heating and Cooling

steam station pictThe majority of Main Campus receives heating and cooling from the Enwave Steam Station and its associated Chilled Water Plant. Both plants use natural gas as a fuel source.

All South Campus buildings use natural gas for heating, while all South Campus apartments use electric for heating.

Green Energy
Starting in 2005, SU has voluntarily purchased electricity each year from renewable sources. Currently 35%, or 41,000,000 kWh, of Green-E Certified American Wind is purchased. Wind-generated electricity creates virtually no greenhouse gases, thus this renewable energy purchase helps to lower SU’s carbon footprint.

SU is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership and held the Big East Conference Champion designation as the largest purchaser of green power from 2006-2010 and currently tops the charts in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2013. According to the EPA’s estimates, SU’s 41 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power purchased annually is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 6,000 passenger vehicles each year.


In 2020, 139 panels were placed on the roof of the Schine Center, which provide a total of 50 kw capacity. The system is expected to generate 66,000 kWh per year. To put that number into context, the average residential customer in the United States consumes approximately 11,000 kWh per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The solar power production at the Schine Center will be roughly equal to the energy consumed by six residential homes. The power generated by the panels will be fed into the building distribution system and will reduce the facility’s demand for electricity.

During the summer of 2013, rooftop solar hot water heating was installed for twenty South Campus buildings that contain 160 three-bedroom apartments. There are forty systems with a total of 240 solar panels. By utilizing solar energy to heat water, the University will save approximately 300,000 kWh and avoid about 125 tons of GHG emissions a year. The systems will supply 50-60% of the energy necessary to heat the water.

Temperature Policy
Occupied Spaces – The established temperature guidelines are 68 °F during the heating season (September 15 – May 15) and 76 °F during the cooling season (May 16 – September 14). (Note that exceptions to the cooling policy exist, including some laboratories, research areas and art/book archives.)

Unoccupied Spaces – 60 °F during the heating season and 85 °F during the cooling season.

Cooling temperatures only apply where air conditioning equipment currently exists.

Building Temperature Control
Energy Systems and Sustainability Management helps make campus building systems run efficiently and on schedules that meet occupants’ needs. The department’s Energy Management System Operations Center is the “command center” that monitors and schedules the heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water and building access control systems in campus buildings.

For a more in depth report of how sustainability has been in place at Syracuse University, please view the Energy Conservation Report here.