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UC San Diego Utilities & Sustainability Management—Measuring the Success of Our Campus Energy Strategy

Prior to COVID-19, the Energy and Utilities Management team worked together to plan, budget and execute a comprehensive campus automatic meter reading (AMR) strategy to shift our campus away from meters that require onsite reading. AMR metering allows near real-time data acquisition and analysis for the team and for campus partners who use this information to confirm building performance and address building issues in a timely, cost effective manner. Over the past two years, the team has installed and programmed over 250 water, electric, gas, chilled water and high-temperature water meters to transition 1,000 building-level AMR meters. Our campus Energy and Water Dashboard, which displays all the information in an organized way, is a direct result of these efforts.

 total energy and water use

The tremendous talents and dedication of our team, comprised of meter technicians, electricians, data administrators, analysts and engineers, made this overwhelming effort possible. Our team would like to extend extra thanks to Quiana Stodder, graduating Carbon Neutrality Intern who played an instrumental role in the analysis of the massive 15-minute interval database that the team deployed. Quiana quickly developed an elegant approach of trending and analyzing daily information that allows us to compare how our campus buildings and utility plant are operating compared to previous years and weeks. The output of her analysis also ranks buildings against similar type of buildings based by the amount of energy wasted or saved.

Since our campus has shifted to remote work in response to COVID-19, we have documented an average monthly savings of 5% in electricity and average monthly savings of 23% in in water compared to the same period last year — equating to a total of 4,055,790 kwh and 327,796 gallons saved. As more people return to campus, we want to remind everyone about the role that they have in continuing to reduce energy and water use. This includes maintaining your thermostat at 74 degrees, planning the use of energy intensive equipment during non-peak hours, closing fume hood sashes when not in use, and reporting water leaks.

total electricity use

total water use