Interim Energy Policy

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on April 02, 2001
Approved By: President Karnig on April 05, 2001

Source / Authority

For interpretation of this policy, please contact the responsible department: Office of Vice President for Administration and Finance: 909/537-5130


Over the last two decades, the University has enjoyed plentiful supplies of energy, relatively low utilities cost, and the benefits of numerous energy conservation projects. The energy situation in California has changed dramatically over the last year. There has been an unprecedented shortage of electricity, natural gas prices have skyrocketed, and two major utilities in the state face bankruptcy. Numerous bills are pending in the State Legislature to deal with the failure of electricity deregulation. Never before has the campus experienced so much uncertainty over energy supplies, cost, and rulings.


The purpose of this policy is to provide initiatives and guidelines for the campus to control its use of energy, manage utilities expense, and to do so in support of the mission of the University.


The policy of the University during this interim period shall be to:

  • Minimize utility expense as much as possible while simultaneously serving the University mission.
  • Explore alternative energy sources.
  • Consider operating costs of non-general fund supported activities.
  • Seek programs conducted by utilities or agencies which will benefit the University.
  • Participate in systemwide programs which lower administrative expense and commodities cost.
  • Seek best practices used by other organizations to reduce energy costs.
  • Measure results, provide periodic reports.

Strategies (Responsible Person Noted)

  • Evaluate Interruptible Rate -- (David DeMauro)
    The Public Utilities Commission issued a decision on April 3, 2001, that would allow the University to exit the interruptible rate or to alter its Firm Service Level. An analysis will be conducted to evaluate a decision that would best serve the University. The analysis will be shared with the University community soon. It is noted that the potential increased cost to the University will be approximately $250,000 per year.
  • Summer Demand Reduction Program -- (Tony Simpson)
    The Public Utilities Commission ruled on April 3, 2001, that customers who exit the interruptible rate will not be eligible for the Demand Reduction Program. An analysis will be conducted to determine whether the University can participate in this program if the Firm Service Level is altered, as identified in Strategy #1. The Demand Reduction Program provides an initial payment for signing up, and a performance payment for each time the University is asked to reduce its load. It is estimated that participating in the program with 600 kW would produce incentive payments of approximately $73,050 per year. There are no penalties.
  • Limit Summer On-Peak Operating Hours -- (LeRoy Wilke)
    Utility summer peak operating hours are from 12:00-6:00 p.m. During this period, the university pays a premium cost for electricity. Therefore, the fewer operations during these hours, the more cost is avoided. Alternative campus summer operating schedules are economically advantageous and lower risk exposure to potential interruptions and blackouts. Campus operating hours will be evaluated based upon the summer schedule and an ultimate decision regarding the interruptible utility rate.
  • Maintain Direct Access Electricity Contract -- (David DeMauro)
    In 1998, the campus joined with most CSU and UC campuses in a contract to receive "Direct Access" electricity. The contract results in a 5% savings off the campus electricity bill, or about $80,000 per year. The contract expires in April 2002.
  • Participation in Department of General Services Natural Gas Procurement Program - (Tony Simpson)
    The campus has taken advantage of natural gas deregulation for years by buying "non-core" natural gas from wholesale supplies. Since 1997, the campus has participated with numerous other state agencies in a direct procurement contract administered by the Department of General Services (DGS). This contract has generated an average savings of $25,000 per year. Other options have been explored; however, the DGS appears to provide the greatest potential savings at this time. The University will participate in the DGS natural gas procurement program for one additional year.
  • Set Limits on Central Plant HVAC -- (LeRoy Wilke)
    Heat to 68 degrees.
    Cool to 78 degrees.
    Limit operating hours.
  • Room Lighting -- (Campus)
    Building occupants are asked to use only the amount of light that is needed for the particular activities being conducted and to shut off all unneeded lights. The last person out shall turn off all lights. Light sensors which have been disengaged shall be restored to operation. CSO's will turn off lights at the end of the day.
  • Monthly Budget/Consumption Review at Administrative Council -- (David DeMauro)
    Periodic reports will be presented to the Administrative Council which will compare current usage with the corresponding month during the previous year. Actual expenses vs. budgeted expenses will be provided. The information is also available on the Facilities Services web page.
  • Complete Strategic Energy Plan -- (Tony Simpson)
    Facilities staff are working with Enron Energy Services to complete a Strategic Energy Master Plan. The plan will provide recommendations as to the expansion and replacement of lighting and HVAC equipment.
  • Conduct Feasibility Study for Cogeneration -- (Tony Simpson)
    A feasibility study will be conducted for cogeneration. The results of the study will be evaluated to determine if the cost and benefits are feasible or desirable for the campus to implement.
  • Assess Alternative Energy Sources, e.g., Solar, Wind -- (Tony Simpson)
    Feasibility studies will be conducted for solar and wind energy alternatives. The results of the studies will be evaluated to determine if the cost and benefits of any or all of these sources are feasible or desirable for the campus to implement.
  • Reduce Utilities at Coussoulis Arena -- (LeRoy Wilke/Campus)
    Operate Arena without lights during daytime hours and without air conditioning whenever possible. Ensure that temperatures are maintained at a satisfactory level for classrooms.
  • Turn Off Compressors in Water Coolers -- (Tony Simpson)
    Compressors in water coolers will be turned off. Water will remain available at ambient temperature.
  • Remove Duplicate Vending Machines -- (David Jones)
    Duplicate vending machines are located in several campus locations which offer 16 oz. bottles in one and 12 oz. cans in the other. The machines that supply 12 oz. cans will be removed to avoid the expense of unnecessary refrigeration.
  • Reduce Hallway Lighting -- (Tony Simpson)
    Hallway lighting will be reduced by de-lamping some of the lighting in order to avoid utilities expense. Lighting will be maintained at a safe level.
  • Assess Decentralized Utility Budget -- (David DeMauro)
    An analysis is being conducted to determine the feasibility of decentralizing the utility budget. The objective of decentralization would be to provide accountability of utilities expense to organizational units. It is anticipated that decentralization would provide an incentive for departments to conserve energy to avoid utilities expense.
  • Cycle HVAC Equipment -- (LeRoy Wilke)
    Fan motors will be cycled on and off to avoid continuous use and reduce electricity consumption.
  • Add EMS Points of Control -- (Tony Simpson)
    An automated Energy Management System (EMS) was installed to automatically turn equipment on or off to ensure that equipment operates only when needed. Additional points of control would allow equipment to be turned on and off from the Central Plant, allowing greater control over the operation of the equipment.
  • Install High Efficiency Lamps and Ballasts -- (Tony Simpson)
    Replacing older lights with energy efficient lighting will conserve electricity and reduce expense. High pressure sodium exterior lights will be installed.
  • Assess Facilities Use Fees for Non-General Fund Use of Facilities -- (Tony Simpson/Campus)
    The cost of operating buildings for non-General Fund supported activities which require reimbursement to the University will be reassessed to comply with CSU Executive Order No. 753.
  • Office Equipment/Computers/Computer Labs -- (Lou Fernandez/William Aguilar)
    Turn off monitors and computers when not in use.
  • Personal Appliances -- (Policy Decision)
    Assess limiting or eliminating use of personal electrical appliances such as electric heaters, fans, refrigerators, microwave ovens, etc.
  • Use of Generators -- (David DeMauro)
    The campus can minimize the risk of potential blackouts or power interruptions by leasing several large generators. The cost of generators to serve Brown Hall, University Hall, Pfau Library, Biology Building, and the Central Plant is estimated at $250,000 through the end of September.
  • Reduce Fountain Operating Hours -- (LeRoy Wilke)
    Do not operate Fountain during on-peak operating hours or Stage III alerts.
  • Working Hours -- (Campus)
    Colleges and departments are encouraged to schedule working hours or related activities within the Heating and Air Conditioning Department's operating schedule.
  • HVAC Support for Equipment -- (Campus)
    It is recommended that, to the extent possible, equipment requiring continuous HVAC support, such as servers, be consolidated into rooms identified in the telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Energy Conservation Committee -- (Tony Simpson)
    The Energy Conservation Committee will be reactivated and will be asked to become involved in the University's energy conservation activities.