The University of Iowa

UI Utilities provides utility services to the Main Campus and Oakdale Campus through operation and maintenance of utility systems providing steam, chilled water, hot water, electricity, water, high quality water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer.  Select maintenance services are also provided to outlying properties on a case-by-case basis. Service boundaries described below apply primarily to buildings served by central utility systems maintained by UI Utilities. Repair services provided to buildings served by other utilities, such as MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy, City of Iowa City, and City of Coralville, may be provided by UI Utilities at the expense of the owner, but are subject to availability. 

Utility rates are developed annually and buildings/customers are billed monthly based on metered usage or standard fees as applicable.  Rates and fees are based on FM cost-of-service, which includes production and purchased utility costs, distribution system operations and maintenance, and long-term capital renewal and improvement needs. Utility billing is completed using EnergyCap software that generates a bill similar to a utility bill at a residential location.  The billing is uploaded into the General Ledger from EnergyCap, and a detailed bill, as well as historical usage are available upon request.

When construction projects increase the demand of either steam or chilled water, an Offset Charge is calculated and applied to the project budget.  The Offset Charge is a Capacity Fee that goes to offset future costs of steam or chilled water capacity expansion projects in the central utility system. Offset Charges are not Connection Fees, as might be encountered when dealing with a private utility company. The Offset Charge is determined via an approved calculation methodology and can be obtained from Design & Construction.

The utilities produced and their distribution systems are generally located separately from and external to the end-use buildings and customer facilities.  Redundancy is designed into utility production and distribution systems to avoid major service outages for most maintenance or repair activities.  Scheduled maintenance and repair activities that require utility outages and directly affect customer activities are scheduled after-hours or during low occupancy periods whenever feasible. 

Most utility distribution systems are underground on both the main campus as well as Oakdale.  As such, the utilities maintenance tasks and their associated frequencies are not typically visible to or interfere with building and customer spaces or customer activities.  Such tasks include but are not limited to monthly, semi-annual and annual inspections of electrical switchgear, transformers, wiring, steam and water piping, underground vaults (including pumping of groundwater infiltration), valves, drains, etc.