Utilities & Energy Services Business Operations

Utilities & Energy Services’ Business Operations is responsible for tracking the metering, billing, and reporting of campus’ energy usage in the Energy Billing System (EBS) maintaining the eDNA database – real-time data historian. EBS provides facility and college business managers with monthly energy and water consumption and cost information. EBS allows departments to view and evaluate the impact of changes in building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) programming, including time-based calculations for building-to-building comparisons on energy usage.

Prairieland Energy, Inc. (PEI), is an Illinois corporation founded in 1996 that is solely owned by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (BOT) and functions as a university-related organization. PEI’s primary mission is to provide energy commodities that support the reliable provision of energy services to the University of Illinois campuses while achieving an effective balance of cost efficiency, acceptable price volatility, and desired budget certainly. PEI provides electric, steam, and chilled water utility service to residential and commercial customers in non-university building on University of Illinois property.

Business Operations also calculates the university’s annual utility rates and provides financials for all UES budgets and utility commodity rate setting, including analysis of related capital projects.

The Energy Billing System (EBS) is a web-based software application that offers utility cost and consumption by month, building, and meter. It allows users to view current and historic information, compare buildings, and see trends over time. It requires Blue-Stem authorization and users must request access from F&S.

Energy Billing System Building Trend Chart

The Energy Billing System:

  • Provides a web-browser interface to utility information in the EBS database. Information is displayed in tables and graphs for ease of use.
  • Compares energy usage over time via trending meter-level building usage and cost data.
  • Downloads requested information into an Excel spreadsheet or Adobe PDF document.
  • Provides billing information to department units. (Individual state-supported departments are not billed for their energy, but the information is specific enough to do so and provides timely, accurate information regarding the cost to operate the facility. The system also allows users to aggregate the utility bill information by department or college).

F&S keeps and maintains real-time electricity consumption data for most Urbana campus buildings. A web page dashboard enables users in these selected buildings to view and track their electricity on a real-time basis. The dashboard is written in web browser-agnostic code (html5) so that it can be viewed on most web browsers and/or embedded or included on the buildings digital signage.

Building Energy Dashboard Display

In addition to the data displayed in graphic form, calculated factoids are supplied on the dashboard to compare the previous 24 hour consumption to the prior day, the equivalent usage of households, refrigerators, CFL Lightbulbs, and 22” LED televisions. There is a specific page for one 24-hour period, and one for a week.

For more information on how to obtain the code for the building dashboard, please contact the Utilities & Energy Services Business Operations.

Annual utility rates for the following utilities: steam, electric, chilled water, water, and sanitary are approved by the Office of the Provost annually. Every two years, the Office of Government Costing and F&S reconcile the actual utility costs in preparation of the F&A Cost Proposal submitted by campus.  The budgeted utility rates are composed of the following cost elements for Utilities Production and Distribution:

  • Fuel Costs (natural gas, electricity)
  • Purchased Utility Costs (water, sanitary)
  • Personnel Costs
  • Operations and Maintenance Costs
  • Repair and Replacement Costs
  • Debt service Normalized over time
  • Over/Under recovery of prior year operating deficits

The utility base budget of the university includes the utility costs for all state-supported buildings, billed on a per unit consumed basis. Auxiliary and commercial customers are billed directly on a per unit consumed basis for their portion of the annual costs. Each year, the projected energy and water consumption for the university is estimated, along with known expenses. The projected costs and projected consumption are combined into utility rates for each primary commodity. Once the rates are approved, the state, auxiliary, and commercial customers are billed monthly and tracked through the Energy Billing System (EBS). 

Current Utility Rates

 CommodityFY 23 RatesFY24 Rates% Change
 Steam (per Klb)$22.70$26.0915%
 Electricity (per kWh) $0.1011$0.114513%
 Chilled Water (per MMBtu) $16.04$18.1013%
 Water (per kGal)$4.87$5.5915%
 Sanitary (per kGal)$4.59$6.2235%
Natural Gas (per therm)$.457$.4754%

Archived Utility Rates

Related Providers

Utilities & Energy Services

Utilities & Energy Services (UES) is continuously upgrading to provide safe, reliable, environmentally compliant, cost-effective energy and other utilities to support campus.

Tour group at Abbott Power Plant