Energy Policies

Northwestern University has implemented the following policies, which further our commitment to environmental sustainability, reduce energy consumption and save money for the University.


The City of Evanston participates in a Community Electricity Aggregation Program, which allows it to negotiate much lower electricity supply rates for 100% green power on behalf of residents and small businesses in Evanston. The city has selected Constellation Energy as the supplier and has negotiated a one-year program with a fixed price for electricity supply of 4.797 ¢/kWh, which could save you as much as 32% on your electrical bill! 

If you are in off-campus housing and are responsible for your own electrical bill, you are automatically enrolled unless you “opt-out” by June 25, 2012 with the notice that you received in the mail. A sample of the notice can be viewed here.

There is no fee to cancel if a customer moves to another residence within Evanston or moves outside of Evanston entirely. There is also no fee to cancel if a customer wishes to go back to ComEd at any time during the contract. The cancellation fee only applies if a customer wishes to cancel and switch to another supplier. If a customer moves within the City of Evanston, they can retain their participation in the program by giving 30-day notice of the move to Constellation Energy by calling their customer care center at 1-800-718-1493. 

If someone moves into a residence in Evanston and was not previously a ComEd customer, they can enroll into the program by contacting Constellation Energy’s customer care center at 1-800-718-1493. They will sign a separate agreement with Constellation Energy but will be given the same energy supply rate, terms and conditions as the Evanston Electricity Aggregation Program. 

For more information, please review the City’s main web page on aggregation.

renewable energy

The University supports green power by matching 74 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of its annual energy use with Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This green power commitment  represents 30 percent of the University's total annual electricity use and places NU in the EPA's Green Power Leadership Club.

Northwestern is excited to be named the 2011-2012 Champion of the Big 10 in EPA's College & University Green Power Challenge


The Centennial Solar Panel System, a solar photovoltaic array covering nearly the entire roof of Northwestern's Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, has been installed and connected to the building's electric grid. The 16.8-kilowatt panel display is expected to generate about 20,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, enough to power a computer lab in Ford and reduce the University's reliance on the power grid. Read more at the Northwestern University NewsCenter.

Temperature set points

Indoor temperature in all spaces controlled by the University's energy management system will be set at 68°F during the heating season and at 76°F during the cooling season. Occupants who control the temperatures in their spaces are expected to follow this policy by using these ranges. During off-hours and on weekends and holidays, the temperature in most non-residential spaces will be allowed to drop to 55°F before heating occurs and will be allowed to rise to 86°F before cooling occurs. Heating and cooling will be provided for academic, research and student program purposes as needed during off-hours, weekends and holidays. Deans and Vice Presidents can request that Facilities Management exempt certain areas from this policy.

Powering down lights and equipment

Individuals are expected to turn off lights when exiting unoccupied rooms and to turn off office equipment (including personal computers, where possible) at the end of the day. Facilities Management employees will turn off lights and equipment (other than personal computers and fax machines) that have not been turned off by occupants at the end of the standard business day.

Energy-efficient equipment purchases

All University equipment purchases must be Energy Star-rated for superior energy efficiency. (or, if there is no Energy Star rating, equipment must be highly efficient). Purchasing Energy Star-rated equipment will improve the University's energy and financial performance while distinguishing our institution as an environmental leader.

If you have any questions regarding Northwestern University's energy conservation policies, please email Facilities Management at