Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and UCSB have announced the successful completion of two joint energy efficiency projects. In total, the projects are saving the university 66,000 therms of energy every year. The reduction in energy use equates to removing about 350 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the same as a reduction of 866,516 miles driven by passenger vehicles per year.
Both projects were part of California’s joint Energy Efficiency Partnership between state universities and investor-owned utilities. Over the last five years, SoCalGas has supported 184 energy-efficiency projects, saving university campuses 6,000,000 therms of energy — a $6 million savings — and providing morethan $6,300,000 in incentives through this state program.
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.
“SoCalGas is committed to providing affordable, clean energy solutions to our customers,” said Brian Prusnek, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas. “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.”
“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 the university’s high opportunity projects and programs (HOPP’s) initiative. SoCalGas and Southern California Edison co-funded the project, which investigated how best to update two important laboratories at the university.
The utilities conducted an energy management plan to document and list the savings, costs and measures to implement an energy efficient system.
The utilities identified multiple measures to reduce energy consumption 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.
Following the installation of the energy efficient system, the utilities verified the energy systems using the Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) 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.
UCSB also installed an ozone laundry system to support its laundering of uniforms and sports gear for the university’s athletic department which was eligible for a rebate from SoCalGas in the amount of $5,850 and will save the university about 5,880 therms of energy.
For more about SoCalGas’ energy efficiency programs and services, visit socalgas.com or call 800-427-2200.