For immediate release: December 20, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989


Energy Commission OKs Contracts to Reduce Peak Electricity Use
in State and University Buildings



Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today approved four interagency agreements to help reduce electricity use in public universities and State government buildings in times of peak demand.

The approved pacts will be signed with California State University system, the University of California system, the Department of Corrections and the Department of General Services.

The agreements are in line with California's efforts to save 50 megawatts of measurable and verifiable load from State government and university structures. The idea is to reduce demand for the much-needed juice available from the electrical grid to prevent energy shortages during the summer peak hours of 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. A megawatt is enough power to light up 1,000 typical California homes.

A Commission outlay of $1,828,975 will benefit the State universities' efforts to reduce electricity usage by four megawatts through improved lighting and heating, vacuum and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment and related control projects.

The UC schools will be provided with $421,025 to implement similar lighting and HVAC projects and control systems in various campuses to reduce demand by 1.5 megawatts.

Funds totaling $500,000 will be turned over to the planning and construction division of the Department of Corrections to provide prisons with heat pumps and peak load verification meters. The money will also go to peak prison load reduction planning and training in both energy management and control systems. The prison system conservation effort supports the overall goal of reducing peak load by 20 megawatts in State buildings.

A fourth agreement for $3,250,000 will advance the goals of the Department of General Services to provide energy audits, peak load reduction plans and training in UC and State University structures where overall, the State hopes to reduce peak energy use by 25 megawatts.

The State buildings and university conservation programs are part of the Energy Commission's objective of shaving off a total of 200 megawatts of peak demand through conservation measures by June 2001.

The programs are funded through a bill signed by Governor Gray Davis recently. AB 970 sets aside money to help the Energy Commission cut overall energy use in California through various energy conservation measures.

Other components of AB 970 will help reduce electricity use in homes and commercial buildings; retrofit building roofs, making their surfaces "cooler" through reflective coating materials or other means; improve wastewater recovery methods, and replace old fashioned traffic lights with efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Further information and other specific features of various AB 970 programs can be obtained from the Commission's Web Site at:

www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency/ab970

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