Energy and Water Conservation and Management

Volume 6, Chapter 5


Policy on Sustainable Practices


The following standards and guidelines support the University's policy on energy and water conservation and management in facilities operation. Some specific standards are not applicable to smaller Facilities (See “Policy on Sustainable Practices” above).

Application of the standards and guidelines shall not involve any measure that will violate applicable laws, be hazardous to health or safety, cause significant impairment of the instructional or research effort, or result in an unreasonable minimum standard of comfort.

5.1.1 Facilities Management Guidelines for Sustainability


- Title 24, Part 6, of the California Code of Regulations

Maintain an inventory of major buildings and systems to:

  1. Assess current performance of earlier-instituted operation and maintenance conservation practices, or begin such efforts where opportunities exist.
  2. Assess possibilities for modifications to existing systems to reduce energy and water use.
  3. Develop a priority list for capital improvements to achieve energy and water efficiency improvements and to integrate the possible projects into the Capital Improvement Program for the Facility.
  4. Use life cycle cost analysis, per sustainability requirements referenced above, within guidelines required by the state, to assess the feasibility of capital investments to achieve energy and water conservation.
  5. Design new buildings to outperform California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 20, "Energy Building Regulations," and Title 24, "Energy Conservation Standards" by the amount specified in Sustainability Policy. (See: California Energy Commission Requirements)
  6. Require design professionals to have independent certification that their designs meet requirements of item 5 above. Participation in the Savings By Design Program (utility incentive program for new construction) will be deemed independent certification.
  7. Assess any proposed new or replacement equipment/installation pursuant to item 4 above. New replacement equipment should be more efficient than existing. Utilize available utility or other incentive programs in implementing this.
  8. Plan new buildings and systems to utilize water-conserving fixtures and features; for example, prohibit "once-through" water cooling systems and continuous-flow operations for intermittent demand. Consider installation of parallel piping systems for use of reclaimed water for nonpotable applications.
  9. Coordinate water conservation efforts at each location with local agencies supplying water to the University.
  10. Avoid landscape design or plant replacement that requires excessive water use.

5.1.2 Operational Guidelines

  1. Implement system operation and maintenance on the basis of "least total cost," considering both labor and energy costs, and as required by Policy on Sustainable Practices.
  2. Reduce running time of energy-consuming equipment through:
    • Equipment shutdown when not required (no continuous operation or idling when there is no demand).
    • Building use scheduling both on a daily and longer-period basis (e.g., vacations and between quarters).
    • Programs for selective load shedding of power in event of excessive peak usage.
    • Programs for reduced speed, for long periods, of various types of electric loads which can tolerate reduced-speed operation with only minor effect on the user (demand control).
  3. Adjust lighting levels to no more than illumination requirements of CCR, Title 24, power use recommendations. Use group relamping programs where feasible.
  4. Buildings designed under the Policy on Sustainable Practices should be operated according to their original design intent. Optimize heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems (through modification by way of Capital Improvement Projects where necessary).
    • Within the interiors of buildings, temperatures between 68 degrees and 78 degrees Fahrenheit are considered to provide a reasonable standard of comfort. Thermostats should be set at 78 degrees in the Summer and 68 degrees in the Winter. These limits will not apply in areas where other temperature limitations are required by law or where special use of an area demands other limits. For additional reference see: ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standards (Publication Ordering Information) and State Administrative Manual 05-14 Procedures for Energy Management in State Buildings
    • Modify or adjust HVAC systems to avoid simultaneous use of heating and cooling energy use in the same zone or space wherever possible, or minimize such simultaneous energy use within system limitations by resetting the system operating limits.
    • Optimize boiler and chiller plant (or equivalent) operation for best utilization of facility components and for achievement of maximum practical operating efficiency. Achieve optimum use of outside air or maximum practical energy recovery from exhaust air where 100 percent outside air is required for building ventilation.
    • Minimize the rate of air circulation within constraints of applicable laws, regulations, codes, or other necessary limitations.
  5. Suggest that personnel minimize individual automobile use through car pooling and use of public transportation.
  6. Use water from on-site sources such as springs or wells where possible within environmental constraints.
  7. Install flow control devices such as low-flow shower heads and flush valves.
  8. Balance systems using once-through water to minimize flow rates, and operate these systems only when required. This guideline applies to landscape irrigation and mechanical equipment systems.
  9. Recycle waste water when ease of conversion and code requirements allow; for example, modify once-through cooling systems to recirculate rather than discharge cooling water.
  10. Purchase equipment such as lasers, compressors, and vacuum pumps that do not require once-through water cooling systems.
  11. Develop and use reclaimed waste water for irrigation. Consider off-campus reclaimed water supplies, where available, for this purpose.
  12. Have operating contingency plans at each Facility to curtail operation in the event of limitation of boiler fuel, electricity, or water supply. Base these operating contingency plans on the concept of progressive interruption to accommodate different levels of energy or water supply curtailment. Review and update contingency plans annually.
  13. Follow procedures adopted by the University from the governor's Executive Orders and California Department of General Services Management Memos.

(Back to top)


In order to comply with the Policy on Sustainable Practices reporting requirements, each campus is required to submit an annual energy and water use and conservation report to the Office of the President, Facilities Administration

Prepare the report on a fiscal-year basis according to the template supplied by Office of the President. Submit the report by October 1 to the Office of the President.

Report Template: The template is limited to basic elements necessary for auditing the conservation program and use of purchased utilities. In addition to these instructions, reports may include any additional pertinent information such as heating or cooling degree days, student programs, and explanatory material.

Template may be accessed at: The Policy on Sustainable Practices web page

Reporting Guidelines:

  1. Each campus should include all facilities under its administrative responsibility, not limited to state supported space.
  2. Usage Subdivision:
    • Report gross and net (state-supported) utility usage per Energy Template. Gross figures must be compatible with usage reported in the California Climate Registry.
    • Optionally, usage may be subdivided further into more specific classifications.
    • Separate satellite facility usage may be separately identified and reported. When separately reported, indicate whether such usage is also included in the campus usage being reported.
  3. Excluded Usage:
    • Do not report automotive, airplane, or other vehicle fuel usage.
    • Do not report agricultural water usage.
  4. Use usage units provided on Report Template.

(Back to top)


5.3.1 Campus Contingency Planning

Recognizing the criticality of University Programs, Campuses are encouraged to isolate themselves from interruption of service through the combined use of on-site fuel storage and fuel contracts. Campuses are encouraged to use a 14 day horizon for planning purposes. Specific planning provisions will be determined by the criticality of a Program, and its dependence upon fuel or electricity.

5.3.2 Hospital facilities requirements

For general acute care hospitals “the on-premise fuel supply shall be sufficient for not less than 24 hours full demand operation.” “For acute care hospital facilities required to meet NPC-5, the on premise fuel supply shall be sufficient for not less than 72 hours full demand operations” (2004 California Electrical Code Article 700 – Emergency Systems)

(Back to top)


This article contains procedures for the active participation by University staff or other administrative units acting on behalf of the University in official, on-the-record presentations during proceedings of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and equivalent regulatory activities of other governmental utilities agencies.

Adherence to the these procedures will ensure that (1) necessary legal and other services are provided to University participants before and during presentations to the CPUC and equivalent agencies, and (2) appearances and presentations by Facility or other administrative unit representatives will be consistent with University policies and interests regarding the particular regulatory matter.

Also addressed here are procedures to follow when a Facility is charged capital fees for receiving utility services.

5.4.1 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)


"Public Utilities Commission, Rules of Practice and Procedure," California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Chapter 1.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is a constitutionally created, quasi-judicial body having jurisdiction over matters concerning the operations of and rates charged by investor owned utilities companies that serve the public throughout the state.

The University's provision of natural gas, electricity, and telecommunications services is subject to CPUC decisions affecting these services. Customarily, the CPUC holds hearings under rules governing admission of testimony and rights of parties to take testimony from interested parties as part of its decision-making process. Such testimony may be a major influence in shaping the commission's final decisions. Other governmental agencies such as municipal utilities conduct regulatory proceedings in a similar manner.

Because of the continuing importance of utility services and costs, the University must be involved in such proceedings to protect its interests. Cases may involve a single Facility or administrative unit or may involve the entire University system. Independent or uncoordinated participation by University representatives may compromise the University's interests and subsequent University options for appeals or other actions in these regulatory matters.

CPUC Hearing Participation.

Request assistance from the General Counsel of the Regents for participation in CPUC or equivalent proceedings. In advance of the proceeding, have responsible staff communicate with General Counsel and with the department in the Office of the President responsible for Facilities operations or telecommunications. This will allow sufficient time for review, comment, and preparation of appropriate legal advice or a presentation for the proceeding.

Coordinate response with General Counsel and the Office of the President to any invitation from a serving utility agency, company, or the CPUC. Also notify those offices in advance of any self-initiated proposals by a Facility to participate in any regulatory proceeding. Avoid official University representation that might become a matter of record without such coordination.

Coordination with the above offices is not necessary for routine informational communications with the CPUC or equivalent agencies or for nonparticipating spectator attendance at proceedings. "Routine" communications might include determining hearing dates and requesting copies of decisions.

Each Facility or administrative unit should have a coordinator for CPUC (or regulatory agency) matters.

5.4.2 Capital Fees for Utility Services

Prior to 1986 the University was effectively isolated from the imposition of capital fees assessed by public utility entities. Such fees are typically identified as “Capital Facilities Fee”, “Capacity Charge”, “Demand Charge”, or “Standby Charge”.

After 1986, and until 2006, utilities were able to charge such fees to the University, with some limitations.

Assembly Bill 2951, effective January 1, 2007, authorizes public entities providing utility services to charge the University just like any other of its customers. Such fees “should not exceed the reasonable cost of providing the public utility service”

If there are questions about the appropriateness of any public utility fee charged to a Campus, they should be directed to Office of the President, Facilities Management.

See: Assembly Bill 2951 – chaptered 9/30/2006.

(Back to top)

<< Back to Table of Contents Next chapter >>