Reduce Laboratory Energy Use

This toolkit provides guidance and strategies for reducing energy consumption in laboratories. The Department of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) to coordinate activities around better energy management practices and energy-efficient technologies in laboratories. For additional information on laboratory energy efficiency view the Smart Labs Accelerator Toolkit.

    UC Irvine's integrated “Smart Lab” program improves lab energy efficiency through an array of control and sensor technologies; labs using this program can achieve energy savings of up to 60%.
    UC Berkeley's Energy Management Initiative (EMI) targets building occupants through building surveys and energy dashboards, and allocates energy cost responsibility to individual campus operating units to achieve savings of $6.5 million in just three years.
    UC Irvine's Smart Labs Initiative has worked to make already energy-efficient buildings even more efficient, and utilizes a process that works on existing labs and new construction. Participating laboratories have seen 51% annual energy savings.
    This report summarizes the results of a DOE Better Buildings Alliance field demonstration to show the energy savings possible with high-efficiency equipment.
    This document provides highlights from Better Buildings Alliance members that have optimized minimum ACR to reduce energy use while maintaining or improving safety – especially cases where the ACR has been reduced below 6 ACH1.
    This document describes how to implement a fume hood sash management campaign.
    This presentation addresses laboratory ventilation flow rates. 
    This presentation illustrates how the University of Colorado optimized laboratory ventilation rates.
    This guide describes procedures to operate ULT freezers efficiently and to improve sample access.
    Providing supply and exhaust air to laboratory fume hoods is highly energy intensive, yet many researchers forget to shut the sash after use. To address the confusion, a lab manager at the University of California designed a bold vinyl sticker to attach on the exterior sidewall of a fume hood that uses the ubiquitous traffic light color scheme. The low-cost project led to energy savings and safety benefits.
    This energy only specification provides a description of required performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for ULTs in laboratories.


Commercial, Education


Engaging employees, occupants, and customers, Building expertise within my organization

Tool type:


Building Type:



HVAC, Ventilation, Refrigeration