UC San Diego installs Energy Dashboard saving nearly $1 million annually

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San Diego, August 5, 2010 — The University of California, San Diego is using technology called an Energy Dashboard to improve the efficiency of their operations, reduce energy use and combat climate change.

The new Energy Dashboard provides continually updated energy information for the facilities and equipment at the university. The dashboard informs UC San Diego’s comprehensive energy efficiency program which is saving $900,000 a year, reducing energy consumption by 19 million kWh, and reducing 9,600 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

In one project, facilitated by a San Diego Gas and Electric incentive program, the university used information provided by the Energy Dashboard to identify inefficiencies in their computer servers.

The Energy Dashboard grew out of a simple premise by Yuvraj Agarwal, a research scientist in the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering department, that if UC San Diego can measure energy use, it can do a better job reducing its energy usage.

The dashboard provides campus microgrid managers with data on energy use by buildings, floors within buildings and in some cases rooms on a floor — a level of detail that is helping the campus reduce energy consumption by $900,000 a year.

As a result of this finding, UC San Diego replaced 514 older computer servers with 270 energy-efficient models. The project reduced energy consumption by 7.9 million kWh, saving the university $680,000 annually, and prevents 2,600 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere each year.

“UC San Diego’s application of forward thinking technology and their holistic approach to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship efforts makes the university a role model in reducing energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and costs,” said Mark Gaines, director of customer programs for SDG&E.

As part of its commitment to take action on climate change though improved energy efficiency, UC San Diego participates in numerous programs sponsored by SDG&E. One of the programs, called The Cool Planet Project, rewards customers that install significant energy efficiency projects by providing assistance in measuring, monitoring, and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions through The Climate Registry.

 “UC San Diego knows energy efficiency is the most cost effective and immediate way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to leading the way to lower carbon emissions in the future and are proud to be part of the Cool Planet Project,” said Gary Matthews, vice chancellor of resource management and planning at UC San Diego. “The Energy Dashboard is a useful tool for tracking and comparing energy use, to help modify behaviors that can lead to meaningful changes at the personal as well as campus levels.”

In 2005, UC San Diego completed $60 million in energy-saving improvements that cut electricity consumption by 20 percent, saving the university more than $12 million annually. This year, the campus is using $73 million in utility incentives and low-interest bonds as part of a multi-year program to reduce energy consumption in 25 of its older buildings by a combined $6 million a year.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.


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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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