Campus: CSU San Marcos -- September 10, 2001
Summer Energy Savings Much Higher Than Expected; Thermal Energy Storage Unit Ready for Operation
California State University San Marcos saved more than 338 megawatt hours
of electricity by shifting to a four-day, ten-hour per day work-week during
June, July and August, officials have announced. Tom Blair, director of
facility services at the campus, said the savings "exceeded our most
optimistic estimates." A megawatt hour is approximately enough energy
to power 1,000 homes for one hour.
During the ten-week summer schedule, which ran from June 11 to August
17, Blair said the campus was able to close all but one floor of one building
on Fridays and Saturdays, resulting in savings far in excess of the five
megawatts per day Blair estimated before the program began. "I was
a little surprised at what we could save," Blair admitted. "I
thought the campus was already pretty efficient."
Summer 2001 was a trial run, testing how a special schedule might work
for next year, Blair said. In 2002, the campus will be operating under
a new contract with its major energy supplier, Enron, and is expected
to be paying higher prices. In addition, two new campus buildings will
be completed and in operation. Both the new Science Hall II and the Arts
Building have high energy requirements. "We anticipate significant
load increases," he predicted.
The summer schedule was part of a conservation program that also involved
raising temperatures in campus buildings and reducing energy use for lighting
and office equipment. Other savings came from reconfiguring the cooling
system within campus buildings, Blair said. The changes included changes
to pump systems and control valves that provide more consistent cooling.
However, Blair reminded that "I can deliver the cooling more efficiently,
but I'm not able to cool it any more." State regulations require
that buildings be cooled to no less than 78 degrees and heated to no more
than 68 degrees.
Another significant factor expected to conserve energy and save the campus
money is the Thermal Energy Storage unit, which has been completed and
is expected to go into service within a week, Blair said. The unit holds
1.6 million gallons of water that is chilled overnight and used to cool
campus buildings during the day. By cooling the water at night, when energy
use is low and kilowatts cost less, the campus saves money. "We anticipate
a savings of about $170,000 each year," according to Blair. The $875,000
project was funded by a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission.