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Climate Action

Energy usage is the largest contributor to Penn State’s emissions profile. Our primary environmental focus is on the reduction of energy consumption through increased efficiency, conservation, and awareness as well as programs in sectors other than energy. The University is currently implementing a $60 million 5 year investment in energy efficiency and conservation initiatives.

Penn State has reduced its campus greenhouse gas emissions by 18% since 2005 and has set an ambitious new reduction goal of 35% by 2020.


The 18% reduction was based on a foundation of energy conservation but was supplemented with the purchase of renewable energy credits. The new goal of a 35% reduction by 2020 will continue to be anchored with conservation efforts, but will be supplemented with an increased level of combined heat and power (CHP), low-carbon energy production, and hydropower. The strategy for 2020 and beyond will further integrate and increase the use of the suite of renewable technologies continually developing.

Our Energy Future

On Thursday, September 12, 2013, Penn State held a forum entitled “Our Energy Future.” There were two goals for this forum. One was to provide an overview of Penn State’s energy plans for the near and long term future, including an overview of the University Park campus’ energy use and related greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. The other was to provide an update on the conversion of the West Campus Steam Plant from coal to natural gas and the route of the new gas pipeline through University Park

Energy Timeline infograph

Download the Pipeline Public Awareness document.

Assessing Penn State's Energy Future - Case Study

This assessment uses the pipeline controversy as a case study to work toward establishing an open and transparent decision-making process for Penn State’s internal long-range, energy-related planning and explore the development of a broader University and local community energy plan. Download the notes and presentation from the public forum on September 2, 2014.