Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003

Hanan Eisenman (510) 587-6194

Clara Potes-Fellow (562) 951-4806


The California Public Utilities Commission has awarded the University of California and the California State University $12 million to implement energy-efficiency programs on their campuses. The funding will be split equally between the two university systems.

The award will help improve energy-efficiency, reduce costs and move UC and CSU towards greater environmental sustainability. UC and CSU will work with the Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas companies to implement the programs.

These innovative partnerships between UC, CSU and the utilities are among the first of their kind in the nation.

"This award is a great step toward implementing our environmental sustainability policies," said Joseph P. Mullinix, UC senior vice president for business and finance. "It will really boost our energy efficiency efforts."

In July, the UC Board of Regents adopted a systemwide policy for the design of environmentally sound "green" buildings and a standard for the use of clean energy.

The energy-efficiency award program is an important component for implementing UC's and CSU's environmental sustainability initiatives.

"At the California State University, the funding will support personnel training, enhancements to energy monitoring systems and equipment upgrades," said Len Pettis, chief of plant, energy and utilities for the CSU system. "These upgrades will help to reduce energy consumption at our 23 university campuses and offset the rising costs of utility bills."

The energy efficiency measures move the CSU one step ahead in its compliance with a Board of Trustees' policy mandating that its 2004-05 energy consumption be 15 percent less from 1999-2000.

"This is an innovative partnership that will not only reduce energy consumption, but also gets the important energy efficiency message out to 33 campuses of the UC and CSU systems," said Commissioner Susan P. Kennedy of the Public Utilities Commission. "I am delighted to see the UC and CSU systems working with the utilities to reduce California's energy consumption."

The UC and CSU programs will remove more than 2.5 MW of peak electric demand and 15 million kWh per year from California's congested electrical grid. The programs will also conserve natural gas use by almost 700,000 therms per year.

The energy efficiency programs funded by the grant will include:

- Energy-efficiency retrofits: The award will fully fund various UC and CSU energy-efficiency retrofits, including energy-saving lighting and lighting controls; heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades; and improved energy management controls.

- Troubleshooting and tuning: The award will fully fund commissioning services for several existing buildings on each UC and CSU campus. Commissioning is the process of troubleshooting and retuning a building's energy system to make sure it's operating properly. Commissioning can save up to 20 percent of a building's energy use.

Energy efficiency monitoring and metering systems will be left in place to gauge future building performance.

- Training: The award will provide energy-efficiency and other training classes for employees, outlining upcoming changes to the state's Title 24 energy codes and best practices and new technologies for energy-efficiency. The training will be open to community college employees.

The program elements are slated to be implemented in 2004. In February, the Public Utilities Commission will also consider an additional award for work with San Diego Gas & Electric.

For more information about UC's environmental sustainability policies, please visit: http://www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/greenbuildings.pdf

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