Projects reduce energy use by 24% and save more than $66K annually
Southern California Gas Company and UCSB announced Thursday the completion of a pair of energy efficient projects, which will save the university an estimated $66,000 annually.
The projects will help UCSB save an estimated 66,000 therms of energy each year, which equates to removing about 350 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This saving is equal to a reduction of 866,516 miles driven by passenger vehicles per year, according to a news release.
The projects were part of the state’s joint Energy Efficiency Partnership between state universities and investor-owned utilities.
Over the past five years, SoCalGas has supported more than 184 energy efficiency projects, which have saved campuses more than 6 million therms of energy —$6 million in savings — while providing more than $6.3 million in incentives through the program, said Marissa Giralamo, spokeswoman for the utility company.
“SoCalGas is committed to providing affordable, clean energy solutions to our customers,” Brian Prusnek, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas, said in a statement. “We value our partnership with the UC and CSU university systems, and through our energy efficiency solutions, we are working together to lower utility bills and curb carbon emissions.”
In 2013, the University of California system announced its Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done. SoCalGas’ energy efficiency programs support the campus and their ambitious conservation goals.
“Whole-building energy efficiency projects at UCSB have proven to be strong financial investments and have helped us create more comfortable, safer, and more controllable environments for campus end users,” said Jordan Sager, energy manager at UCSB. “SoCalGas has been a great partner to work with on these projects from start to finish.”
The first of the two UCSB projects began in 2018 as part of its high opportunity projects and programs initiative. SoCalGas and Southern California Edison co-funded the project, which examined how to update two important labs on campus. The utility companies conducted an energy management plan to document and list the savings, costs and measures to implement an energy efficient system, officials said.
Multiple measures to reduce energy consumption were identified in the building’s lighting and HVAC systems by installing occupancy sensors, wireless thermostats and low-power LED lights. The campus also added high-efficiency dedicated natural gas boilers to each building. A new chilled water system, including a cooling tower and pumps, were also installed.
After the systems were installed, the utility companies verified the energy systems using the Normalized Metered Energy Consumption approach, which uses building-level metered energy data to verify savings. The project resulted in natural gas savings of 60,959 therms, and the university received an incentive from SoCalGas of $152,000.
In addition, UCSB installed an ozone laundry system to support laundering of uniforms and sports gear for the athletic department, which was eligible for a rebate in the amount of $5,850 from SoCalGas. The laundry system will save the university approximately 5,880 therms of energy, officials said.
To learn more about other energy efficiency programs and services, visit www.socalgas.com.