Energy & Utilities

Energy and Utilities

The Energy Office is responsible for managing the utility cost and consumption at all Temple University and Health System facilities on the Main, Health Sciences Center, Ambler, Podiatric and Center City campuses. The Energy Office functions as Temple’s liaison to the local gas, water and electric distribution companies, and the state and local government agencies enforcing air quality rules and regulations.

Energy Resources

Electrical Utility Services

Generation and Transmission - Temple buys most of its electricity from wholesale generators.

Delivery - Electricity is delivered by PECO (a public utility company) at reduced voltage to several locations on each campus known as Points of Delivery (POD’s)

Distribution - Electricity is distributed from each POD through underground wires owned by Temple to the buildings where it is metered.

Reliability - ​Each POD is served by two or more 13.2 kV lines from PECO.  PODs are interconnected through automatic switches to provide emergency backup.  Electric reliability is further enhanced on Main Campus by a 16-megawatt natural gas-fired standby electric generating plant that can operate in parallel with PECO.

Energy Management

Energy supplies are procured consistent with a diversified portfolio and conservative hedging strategy to achieve the following objectives:

  • Budget Certainty - Temple follows a disciplined, overlapping, dollar-cost averaging schedule of electricity and gas transactions.  Temple has been able to budget steadily declining unit prices with little variation within a single budget year.
  • Low Margins - The margin that suppliers earn on the wholesale price has been kept to a minimum through competitive bidding and direct access to the wholesale market.
  • Price Transparency - The PJM sub-account provides total price transparency so that Temple can audit every line item (including credits that might otherwise be retained by the supplier) included in the supplier’s final delivered price.
  • Minimal Real-time Price Exposure - Temple’s energy procurement strategy has evolved over three years from an initial 85/15%, fixed/floating split to the current 75% hedged position for the prompt year. The percentage of future supply that is secured at a fixed price declines the farther away it is from any point in time.  At 30 months before delivery only 25% of the expected energy requirements will have been secured at a fixed price.
Heating & Cooling Services

Heating Services

Central Heating Plants - The majority of Temple’s buildings are heated with steam generated by multiple natural gas-fired boilers at three central plants:

  • Main Campus Central Steam Plant
  • Health Sciences Center Central Steam Plant 
  • Liacouras Center Central Plant

Stand-alone Heating - Only a few of Temple’s major buildings are not connected to a central heating plant and are instead heated by natural gas-fired boilers located within each building:

  • Student Pavilion
  • James S. White Residence Hall
  • Edberg-Olson Practice Facility

Cooling Services

Central Cooling Plants - The majority of Temple’s buildings are heated with steam generated by natural gas-fired boilers at three central chilled water plants (CCWP’s):

  • Barrack CCWP
  • Biology CCWP
  • Bell Tech Center CCWP
  • Liacouras Center Central Plant (LCCP)

Stand-alone Cooling - Several major buildings have their own air conditioning systems and are not connected to a central plant:

  • Student Pavilion
  • James S. White Residence Hall
  • Edberg-Olson Practice Facility
  • Temple Towers Residences

Sustainability Efforts

Climate Action Plan

In 2019, Temple adopted its second CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, which sets forth annual greenhouse gas reduction targets, and identifies measurable strategies for achieving those reductions.

Green Buildings

In an effort to meet the University’s Climate Commitment and its energy conservation goals, the University is dedicated to improving the efficiency of its existing building stock and greening the construction of its new facilities.

To date, the university has designed and constructed five buildings to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, including the Architecture Building, Pearson and McGonigle Halls, Morgan Hall, the Montgomery Avenue Parking Garage, and the Medical Education and Research Building, which is the University’s first LEED certified project. For more information on these projects, visit the Office of Sustainability's Green Buildings page. 

Recycling & Waste Minimization

Temple University established its recycling program in 1989. Since its inception, the program has expanded the depth and breadth of the materials that can be recycled. The university has also explored ways to reduce the waste generated. Between 2006 and 2012, the University has diverted approximately 22,357,380 pounds of material from entering the waste stream. In 2013, the University expanded its campus-wide recycling program to include:

  • Mixed paper
  • Cardboard
  • Mixed Plastics (Plastics #1-7)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Glass bottles

Temple divides its recycling materials into three categories: core materials, secondary materials and special materials. Core materials include mixed paper, cardboard, and aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers. Secondary materials are primarily organic waste and include food waste, fryer oil, leaves and tree limbs and brush. Special materials encompass a broad range of items, including recycled electronics, glass from Tyler’s glass blowing studio, pallets, furniture and chemical waste.

Temple’s existing programs vary in their scope. While some programs may be universally available at Temple and are operated by the University, other programs are patchwork efforts that are run by student groups or interested staff/faculty. 

The Office of Sustainability maintains an inventory of recycling and waste minimization efforts at Temple.  For more information on the university’s material resource stream, check out the University’s annual recycling and trash report.

Energy, Water and Stormwater

Philadelphia’s sewage and stormwater pipes are combined in a common collection system.  This has prompted the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to take a unique, rate-based approach to stormwater management designed to prevent the overflow of untreated sewage into the Delaware River. Temple is an active partner with the PWD in developing, demonstrating and testing innovative stormwater management practices on Main Campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. 


Kurt Bresser, Director, Utilities & Energy Management