Fall-ing into our holiday savings!
Since 2016, the Energy Conservation Office uses the holidays as an opportunity to shut off the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC) on campus in order to achieve some major savings. These shutdowns are implemented to not only saving money but also energy!
How much more savings do you think one extra day gives us?
During Fall Quarter, there are two major university holidays - Veteran’s Day Weekend and Thanksgiving. Veteran’s Day Weekend experienced holiday shutdowns for three days, while Thanksgiving Weekend had shutdowns for four days. The buildings involved in the shutdown were non-laboratory buildings that are typically vacant during the holidays.
During Veteran’s Day Weekend, we shut down 49 buildings. The total space affected by the shutdown was 2,400,000 square feet!
We see energy savings in reduced usage of chilled water (for cooling), steam (for heating), and electricity. The savings added up to $4,915. With all 49 buildings’ savings combined, the total savings in energy units was 590,562 kBtus*.
For Thanksgiving Weekend, 50 buildings were shut down from Nov 23rd - 26th. The total affected area was 2,430,000 square feet.
During this four-day weekend, total chilled water, steam, and electricity savings summed to $11,634. Total savings in energy units equaled 1,474,682 kBtus*.
Let’s take a look at the savings in the graphs below (hover over the bottom graph for more slides):
Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.
Looking at the graphs above, it is clear we saved the most energy in the reduced steam use. A simple explanation is in November the temperature outside is relatively cold; therefore, we would require more steam to heat the buildings. Thanks to the shutdowns, we were able to shut off heating and cooling do some massive savings!
To put the energy savings into perspective, the amount of energy we saved in two weekends of holiday shutdowns (7 days total), is enough to power 1,107 California homes for a month! Imagine how much we can save over the Winter Break holidays!
*kBtu is a unit used in building energy use tracking and heating system sizing. A kBtu stands for 1,000 British thermal units.
**Source for CA Homes equivalent unit: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pdf