UC San Diego News Center


UC San Diego Earns $2.4 Million in Energy Incentives from SDG&E

Completes 10 energy efficient projects in 2011, earning largest amount of incentive money of any UC or CSU in statewide program

A more efficient ventilation system, the Parking Garage Carbon Monoxide-Based Fan Control is one of many new completed projects funded by the energy initiatives. Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Under bright, blue skies, representatives from UC San Diego and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) gathered recently to celebrate their combined efforts at making things a little greener. Caroline Winn, SDG&E Vice President of Customer Services, presented a ceremonial check to UC San Diego in recognition of the $2.4 million in energy efficiency incentives the university had earned in 2011. The incentives were earned as part of the University of California/California State University/Investor-Owned Utility (UC/CSU/IOU) Energy Efficiency Partnership, a statewide program that aims to improve energy efficiency at the 33 UC and CSU campuses served by the four California investor-owned utilities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“SDG&E is proud to present this check for $2,363,022.48 in energy efficiency incentives to UC San Diego,” said Winn. “The projects completed in 2011 through the UC/CSU/IOU Partnership program will have long-lasting positive impacts on our region environmentally and for the school financially.”

UC San Diego completed 10 energy efficiency projects in 2011 and earned the largest amount of incentive money of any of the 33 UCs and CSUs in the program. In addition, the university’s energy efficiency efforts resulted in avoided energy costs of nearly $950,000 with savings of:

  • 8,947,020 kWh/yr of electricity –the equivalent of enough electricity to power 1500 homes
  • 272,010 therms/yr of natural gas – the equivalent of enough natural gas to power approximately 600 homes
  • 7529 metric tons of CO2/ yr reduced – the equivalent of removing 1,477 vehicles from the road

The projects completed include:

  • A retrofit of the Urey Hall HVAC system—air flow now adjusts to accommodate the actual occupancy and usage of a room rather than being at a constant maximum level.
  • Campus-wide Interior Lighting Upgrade—more energy efficient lighting and motion sensors have been installed in various campus facilities.
  • Parking Garage Carbon Monoxide-Based Fan Control—installation of sensors now allows the fan to turn on once carbon monoxide rises above a certain level rather than running continuously.
  • Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx) for Bonner Hall, Hillcrest Multipurpose Facility and Hubbs Hall—basically a building “tune-up,” MBCx utilizes three components to improve energy efficiency in a building: 1) Installation and use of central monitoring systems to determine energy usage 2) Retrofitting old components of a building to get them to work more efficiently 3) Continual monitoring and retrofitting of the building as needed to ensure sustainable, ongoing energy savings.
  • Compressed Air Loop Upgrade—replacement of inefficient air compressors with more efficient ones.
  • Warren Lecture Hall/Literature Building HVAC retrofit—improved pumping efficiency of chilled water for cooling.
  • Price Center West Ballroom Lighting—installation of more energy efficient lighting.
  • Sunshine Market Refrigeration Night Covers –installation of plastic curtains at night over the open refrigeration units at the market.

These energy efficiency projects are also part of a larger $73 million program UC San Diego has implemented to increase the energy efficiency of 25 older buildings on campus. The incentive money that UC San Diego has received from SDG&E through the UC/CSU/IOU Partnership goes toward meeting the cost of the $73 million project, which is part of a larger $247.4 million University of California initiative to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and cut energy costs at its 10 campuses. The remaining money for the UC San Diego energy efficiency improvements will come from low-interest revenue bonds that the university will repay with cost savings.

Already lauded as one of the greenest universities in the country, UC San Diego is on target to surpass, as a campus, UC goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2014 and further reduce them to 1990 levels by 2020.

“UC San Diego is working towards our goal of becoming the greenest university in the country,” said Gary Matthews, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, who accepted the check on behalf of the university. “Without SDG&E we certainly would not have come this far.”