February 9, 2015

The Energy Office has been working diligently with campus departments to reduce energy use through various channels, including the Energy Incentive Program (EIP) and through supporting technical work in building systems, since the establishment of the Energy Management Initiative (EMI). Collectively, their efforts have been remarkable in reducing campus energy use, but none other has been more successful in a short period of time than the holiday curtailment shutdown.

For almost two decades, large parts of campus have taken a long break at year’s end – and taken steps during that break to curtail energy use.  In recent years, this has meant lowering or shutting off heating, cooling and ventilation in some buildings and also sending reminders to staff to turn off lights and equipment.  

This year, under the lull of activity on campus, the Energy Office worked with Facilities Services and as well as individual building and program managers to further increase savings. In total, the Energy Office staff, in conjunction with the EMS Group, Stationary Engineers and building managers, completed 11 manual and 40 automatic shutdowns of buildings throughout campus. This also includes a handful of research buildings, such as Li Ka Shing Center and Sutardja Dai Hall, that traditionally did not participate in curtailment due to the complexity in their building systems.

The Energy Office records a strong enthusiasm throughout campus that is marked by the increase in the number of research buildings that participated in the program, an increase the number of buildings that voluntarily opted for a longer duration curtailment and increase in shutdown areas for buildings already enrolled in the program.

It’s also interesting to note that energy savings were apparent on the building energy dashboards (mypower.berkeley.edu). Significant electricity use reductions can be observed, take for example in the screenshots captured for Evans Hall, Hertz Hall and Valley Life Sciences Building below. The dashboard shows curtailment in action, with electricity use almost flat over the winter break.

 

Everyone’s efforts paid off – this year we achieved higher savings compared to last year.  Between the electricity and steam savings, the campus used $187,350 less energy, almost double the savings achieved during last year’s curtailment. Listed in Figure 1 below are a summary of this and previous years’ performances of energy savings through campus curtailment.

Figure 1. Key performance metrics of UC Berkeley holiday curtailment shutdown.

Year

Curtailment Duration

(days)

Electricity Savings

(kWh)

Steam

Savings

(therms)

Total Energy Cost Savings

($)

Energy Cost Savings per Day ($/day)

2009

14.75

1,314,200

8,302 kilopounds

$214,202

$14,522

2010

10.75

820,000

1,900 kilopounds

$83,000

$7,721

2011

8.75

300,000

3,400

$59,000

$6,743

2012

10.75

972,000

10,100

$110,470

$10,726

2013

8.75

711,100

49,800

$113,200

$12,937

2014

15.75

1,481,650

147,640

$187,350

$11,895