Updated On January 29, 2016 - 1:10am

Campus Avoids $141,000 in Energy Costs During 2015 Winter Campus Closure

The campus utility shutdown focuses on major Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, with the goal of turning them completely off.   This reduces overall consumption of electricity, chilled water and steam, which in turn reduces required output from our Co-Generation Plant.   This yields not only a financial savings, but also a reduction in our carbon footprint.  The savings is based on a combination of actual meter readings as well as calculated savings derived from known utility loads for individual buildings.     The estimated savings also does not include the avoided cost of the associated carbon emissions.
There were 42 campus buildings involved in the recent shutdown, including 25 that were completely turned off.   The balance of buildings had either modified HVAC system run schedules or were partially shut down in order to accommodate occupant concerns.  Interestingly, 38 of these 42 buildings are equipped with sufficient building automation systems, or DDC, that they could be shut down remotely by our Utilities staff. 
The number of buildings/systems that can be shut down during campus closures or long holiday weekends has been decreasing since the inception of the energy conservation program many years ago, which is a concern.   FM hopes to continue collaborating with the campus community to maximize future energy conservation efforts during these periods of low campus operations.   Most notably, the largest utility consumers are typically the research oriented buildings, due to the nature of their mission, where there is limited opportunity to shut down building HVAC systems.  However, the systems can be adjusted to reduce the number of air changes per hour, which generates a significant reduction in utility consumption.