Energy consumption and production are important factors in sustainability. The most effective action we can take to reduce the impact of energy production is to reduce our consumption. For the energy we do use, we want to consider how it is produced and transmitted. Kent State University is addressing all of these aspects of campus energy.

Energy Efficiency

Kent State’s energy efficiency retrofits have resulted in an energy use reduction of 22% at regional campuses and a 24% reduction at the Kent campus, through strategies such as more efficient building systems, sensors to adjust light and ventilation, and building setbacks for unoccupied times. For more information, visit Office of the University Architect

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Solar Arrays

Regional Campus Installation  Annual Energy Production (kWh)
Ashtabula Ground mounted 1,161,216
East Liverpool Rooftop mounted 114,329
Geauga Ground mounted 392,489
Salem Ground mounted 791,829
Stark Rooftop mounted 323,169
Trumbull Ground mounted 1,647,591
College of Podiatric Medicine Ground mounted 348,062
Kent- Field House Rooftop mounted 500,000

Solar Arrays

Field House Solar Array

The photovoltaic solar array on the roof of the Field House and in operation since July 2012, is nearly ½ Megawatt in size, covers about 1 acre of roof area and generates about 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That is about one-third of the annual total power used by the Field House and Dix Stadium – enough to power about 50 61.7 average homes for a year. The solar PV array reduces our Carbon Dioxide Equivalent impact on the Earth by 390 tons each year.

Distributed Energy - Combined Heat and Power Plant

Kent State’s combined heat and power plant can produce about 60% of the Kent campus’ electricity as well as steam and chilled water on a campus loop. The 13 MW cogeneration plant has two gas fired turbines, gas fired boilers, campus district steam distribution, and steam driven and electric chillers for district chilled water distribution, and is about twice as efficient as a standard utility power plant. The entire plant is designed to maximize efficiency by means of digital electronic metering and instrumentation. Extensive use of control software and computers allows Kent State University to use less electricity, less compressed air, less water, fewer chemicals, less salt, and requires fewer work hours to accomplish deep energy efficiency.


The  incorporation of the EarthWise chiller in a Kent State University project, especially serving our 24/7 resident students, is yet another step that proves our commitment to sustainability.

The EarthWiseTM Centrifugal 870 Ton cooling capacity chiller from Trane, is the only chiller in the world to earn the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).  The testing and certification is through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and Underwriters Laboratories in accordance with ISO 14025. It is also Green Seal Labeled which makes identifying “Green” products easier for people to select. 

The chiller was added to the fleet of 2 electric and 1 steam absorption chillers in the East Campus Chilled Water Plant.  The plant was modified and the chiller installed between late 2015 and early 2016.  The chiller plant has been operational since about mid-February 2016. The new EarthWise chiller is programmed to be the first chiller that starts when there is a cooling load – which is year-round.  This will allow maximum energy and cost savings when any cooling is needed on the chilled water loop.  The majority of the refrigeration load for the Dining Services refrigerators and freezers is cooled with chilled water provided by the Plant. The Plant also cools all of the local Residence Halls that offer air conditioning except for Engleman and Stopher-Johnson which are in different locations on campus and served by a different main cooling loop.

DO IT IN THE DARK: Energy Saving Competition

Even with features like light sensors and smart power strips, our behavior greatly impacts the energy consumption of the spaces we occupy. Residence Services raises awareness and makes conservation fun by having residence halls compete each fall to save energy during “Do It In the Dark.”  

Ever wonder just how much electricity or gallons of water a residence hall consumes each week? View Kent State's Utility Dashboards to find out how much of each resource is consumed per residence hall at Kent State University.

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Do It In the Dark at Kent State Facebook Page


Students enrolled in an architecture seminar, spring 2017, participated in a workshop investigating, and building a small-scale sustainable project.  Taught by Associate Professor Greg Stroh with lab assistance from Chip Clark, of the FabLab at the CAED, the build workshop’s initial research project constructed a solar powered USB charging station for use as a bus wait structure on campus. The students researched materials/fabrication, detailing, assembly and sustainability issues through a set of modules, ranging from the technical to the aesthetic, with the final assembly taking place at the end of the spring semester.  Both traditional and advanced technologies were deployed within the making of the project - from CNC milling of the bench to the hand varnishing of the marine plywood. A solar panel on the roof powers six USB ports, integrated into the bench for powering up devices while patrons wait for the next bus.

Tips for Conserving Energy

  • Unplug computers*
  • Unplug peripherals* (speakers, printers, monitors, etc.)
  • Unplug copiers*
  • Unplug appliances (coffee pots, microwaves, toasters, refrigerators, space heaters, etc.)
  • Close and lock windows
  • Close blinds or drapes
  • Turn off lights
  • If repairs are needed submit request

*Unplug devices and power strips if possible. Turn off power strips if plug is inaccessible.

Tips for Conserving Energy Poster

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Ohio Public Utility Commission Electricity Use

EPA Tips to Reduce Energy Use

Peak Load Day


Tips for Conserving Energy