Energy Conservation

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Milky Way rising over the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center was built to minimize its impact on the natural surroundings and was the first National Park Service visitor center to achieve LEED Gold certification with energy-efficient design and eco-friendly materials.

NPS/Frank

Energy drives the machinery of our lives. From heating our homes and lighting our hospitals, to washing our clothes, cooking our food, and transporting our families, we rely on energy for much of our modern lifestyle. That energy largely (87%) comes from the combustion of non-renewable fossil fuels. This process releases greenhouse gasses into Earth’s atmosphere and is the primary contributor to global warming and global climate change.

Yellowstone National Park is the largest consumer of energy in the National Park Service, with many villages and a vast and varied assortment of aging buildings, many of which are significant to Historic Districts and National Historic Landmarks. Most buildings need energy efficiency improvements including updates to old and inefficient heating systems. Yellowstone strives to inspire energy conscious behaviors, make facilities more energy efficient, reduce the use of fossil fuels for all infrastructure systems, and assess opportunities for renewable energy. Facilities in Yellowstone are managed by the National Park Service as well as by our concessioners and partners.

 
 

Electricity

Electricity is used for lighting, appliances, computers, tools and some heating and cooling. Improving the efficiency of these applications is the most productive step we can take toward energy conservation goals.

Most of Yellowstone’s electricity is provided by Northwestern Energy. Their portfolio now boasts 54% renewable energy (approximately 36% hydro, 18% wind and less than 1% solar).

Propane, Fuel Oil

Most of Yellowstone’s building heating and cooling systems rely on fuel, either diesel (fuel oil) or propane. Other common users of fuel for direct heat and power are water heaters, kitchen appliances and generators. Renovating Yellowstone’s buildings presents opportunities for reducing fuel use. Heating systems are being updated where possible and efforts are being made throughout the park to improve building envelopes.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is only used in one facility, located in West Yellowstone.

 

2018 Sustainability Report on Energy

Yellowstone National Park is the largest consumer of energy in the National Park Service.

Most of Yellowstone’s electricity is provided by Northwestern Energy. Their portfolio now boasts 56% renewable energy (approximately 37% hydro, 18% wind and less than 1% solar).

Electricity is used for lighting, appliances, computers, tools and some heating and cooling. Improving the efficiency of these applications is the most productive step we can take toward energy conservation goals.

Most of Yellowstone’s building heating and cooling systems rely on fuel, either diesel (fuel oil) or propane. Other common users of fuel for direct heat and power are water heaters, kitchen appliances and generators. Renovating Yellowstone’s buildings presents opportunities for reducing fuel use. Heating systems are being updated where possible and efforts are being made throughout the park to improve building envelopes.

 
 
2018 Electricity Use in kWh
User 2003*
(Baseline Year)
2016 2017 2018 2018 % Change
from Baseline
NPS 7,951,100 10,413,767 12,538,774 11,082,611 +39.4%
Xanterra 16,618,069 17,513,980 18,191,147 19,367,490 +16.5%
Delaware North 2,198,855 1,639,899 1,161,183 1,575,629 -28.3
YPSS -- 266,189 407,937 290,096 --
Medcor -- 70,100 123,335 136,835 --
2018 Totals 26,768,024 29,903,935 32,422,376 32,025,730 --
2018 Propane Use in Gallons
User 2003*
(Baseline Year)
2016 2017 2018 2018 % Change
from Baseline
NPS 208,531 260,921 270,294 282,282 +35.4%
Xanterra 352,601 575,211 703,907 792,463 +124.7%
Delaware North 70,534 67,293 51,003 72,712 +3.1%
YPSS -- 5,504 8,558 6,436 --
Medcor -- 2,120 9,300 12,300 --
2018 Totals 631,666 911,049 1,043,062 1,147,457 --
2018 Fuel Oil Use in Gallons
User 2003*
(Baseline Year)
2016 2017 2018 2018 % Change
from Baseline
NPS 135,000 105,378 119,757 118,856 -12.0%
Xanterra 569,316 432,332 330,005 357,895 -37.1%
Delaware North -- 0 0 0 --
YPSS -- 0 0 0 --
Medcor -- 1,560 1,380 0 --
2018 Totals 704,316 539,270 451,142 476,751 --
2018 Natural Gas Use in Hundreds of Cubic Feet
User 2003*
(Baseline Year)
2016 2017 2018 2018 % Change
from Baseline
NPS - West 10,910 11,080 10,879 10,537 -3.4%

* - 2003 totals by company do not match those from the 2016 sustainability report. Data reporting continues to improve in accuracy and consistency, but for 2003 different sources show slight different numbers. Data here reflects numbers that will be used going forward for consistency.

 
2018 Electricity Use in kWh by Location
Location NPS Xanterra Delaware
North
YPSS Medcor Total
Canyon 1,744,417 2,852,974 403,346 58,202 -- 5,058,939
Gardiner 499,200 2,536,846 -- 96,523 -- 3,132,569
Grant Village 782,587 2,312,947 187,622 18,708 -- 3,301,864
Lake, Fishing Bridge, and Bridge Bay 1,161,852 2,051,654 176,871 37,088 Unknown 3,427,465
Mammoth 3,055,236 2,673,385 131,680 17,683 Unknown 5,877,984
Madison Junction 744,319 -- -- -- -- 744,319
Norris 361,175 -- -- -- -- 361,175
Old Faithful 1,980,826 5,470,683 305,651 38,891 Unknown 7,796,051
Tower (Fall Area and Roosevelt) 218,104 329,798 109,895 23,001 -- 680,798
West Yellowstone 302,910 -- 230,325 -- -- 533,235
Small Locations (Campgrounds, etc.) 231,985 1,139,203 30,239 -- -- 1,401,427
2018 Totals 11,082,611 19,367,490 1,575,629 290,096 136,835 32,452,661
2018 Propane Use in Gallons by Location
Location NPS Xanterra Delaware
North
YPSS Medcor Total
Canyon 30,015 160,114 10,409 2,047 -- 202,585
Gardiner 14,933 215,788 -- 1,553 -- 232,274
Grant Village 17,364 39,756 10,729 -- -- 67,849
Lake, Fishing Bridge, and Bridge Bay 33,423 125,646 10,021 1,397 Unknown 170,488
Mammoth 89,083 28,863 11,405 -- Unknown 129,350
Madison Junction 10,203 -- -- -- -- 10,203
Norris 2,273 -- -- -- -- 2,273
Old Faithful 48,863 133,225 13,806 1,439 Unknown 197,333
Tower (Fall Area and Roosevelt) 5,593 26,195 3,687 -- -- 35,475
West Yellowstone 6,147 -- 12,654 -- -- 18,801
Small Locations (Campgrounds, etc.) 24,387 62,876 -- -- -- 87,263
2018 Totals 282,282 792,463 72,712 6,436 12,300 1,166,193
2018 Fuel Oil Use in Gallon by Location
Location NPS Xanterra Delaware
North
YPSS Medcor Total
Canyon 10,958 -- -- -- -- 10,958
Gardiner -- -- -- -- -- 0
Grant Village 1,777 -- -- -- -- 1,777
Lake, Fishing Bridge, and Bridge Bay 881 27,021 -- -- -- 27,902
Mammoth 103,442 121,208 -- -- -- 224,650
Madison Junction -- -- -- -- -- 0
Norris -- -- -- -- -- 0
Old Faithful 1,518 209,666 -- -- -- 211,184
Tower (Fall Area and Roosevelt) -- -- -- -- -- 0
West Yellowstone -- -- -- -- -- 0
Small Locations (Campgrounds, etc.) 280 -- -- -- -- 280
2018 Totals 118,856 357,985 -- -- -- 476,751
 
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    Last updated: December 19, 2019

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    Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

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