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  • Writer's pictureCorey L. Wilson

Reducing Campus Buildings’ Energy Usage Without a Capital Investment

Updated: Nov 28

In the last decade there have been a significant movement to invest in more sustainable energy improvements on college and university campuses.

Being among the most energy-intensive facility types, there are numerous opportunities in educational facilities for efficiency projects that address lighting, building system controls, chilled water systems, steam systems and more that have simple paybacks after utility incentives of about 2 to 3 years. However, for most campuses, these energy saving measures have already been implemented.

In the U.S., higher education facilities spend an average of $1.10 per square foot on electricity costs, 31% ($0.34) of which are lighting costs. In most colleges and universities, laboratory and residential buildings are the biggest energy users. At Harvard University, for example, while laboratory buildings make up only 22% of the buildings on campus, they use 49% of the total energy; residential buildings and dorms account for 18% of the university’s energy consumption.

How can 2-year college and 4-year university facility manager’s utilize the latest energy savings technology and do it without a capital investment? By determining if their facility qualifies for a Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Station from MicroNOC (that requires no capital investment) as explained below. 1 – Reduce Energy Costs with MicroNOC’s Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Station

The number one energy savings opportunity (also approved by PG&E) is MicroNOC Inc.’s new 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program. This new California wide program provides the largest energy savings potential without the need for solar, demand response, or rebates by utilizing MicroNOC’s trademarked energy storage system (ESS) and partnering program.

One of the primary reasons MicroNOC’s energy cost savings program was approved in 2018 by America’s largest utility provider Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is because it saves 25% on peak rates using behind-the-meter (BTM) clean energy for all types of industries and facilities. MicroNOC’s unique Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Station and their 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program provides the most reliable energy cost saving opportunity because they:

• Save 25% on peak electrical rates all year long • Require no ESS equipment to purchase, lease or maintain • Allow partners to save before they pay • Help balance electricity rates and the grid • Free-up funds for indirect spend costs (such as COVID-19) • Do not require solar, demand response, or rebates

As most FM’s already know, electricity rates will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, and on-peak demand and energy rates are already 3 to 4 times higher than off-peak rates due to a large spike in electricity demand gas ‘peaker’ plants utilization between 4 pm to 9 pm for added energy.

California’s electrical utility providers such as PG&E, SCE and SDG&E drastically increased their peak time-of-use (TOU) rates between the hours of 4 pm and 9 pm and more so between June through September causing a large spike in electric costs, and this 5-hour time period of highest utility costs is the focus of MicroNOC’s program.

There are other ways to cut down on educational facilities power consumption (but not without varying amounts of capital) so it makes sense to improve efficiencies across the board, and here are four other options to consider as follows:

2 – Lighting Controls

3 – Commit to HVAC modifications

4 – Tackle a chiller plant retrofit

5 – Optimize your building management system (BMS)

With their important mission to provide a productive learning environment, finding and approving the resources to improve energy efficiency beyond school bond measures, utility rebates, and PTA fundraisers, additional facility upgrades can be a tough sale for FM’s because of the upfront costs and school board approvals.

However, that’s no longer the case when using MicroNOC’s first option (if existing peak time-of-use rates fall between 4 pm to 9 pm) because their 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program requires NO capital investment, need for solar, or reliance on rebates. MicroNOC also makes it easy because they own, install, operate, and maintain their energy storage systems (ESS) for their energy saving partners.

Enroll in MicroNOC’s 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program

If you would like to learn more about how to use less electricity and more efficiently to lower operation costs and improve cash flow, please check out the one-page flyer link at the Save 25% on Peak Rates Using Clean Energy flyer BUTTON below and then complete the one-minute Request for Preliminary Savings Report form BUTTON below and email it to Registration is simple as these 5 steps:

1. Complete a Request for Preliminary Savings Report form.

2. Submit the request form with provide copies of electric utility bills.

3. You will be provided a custom Preliminary Savings Report (PSR).

4. Submit a Service Registration Form along with the Registration Fee.

5. You’re on your way to lower electric energy rates.

Article content provided Adam Fairbanks CEO at Fairbanks Energy Services on June 8, 2020 and supplemented by Corey Lee Wilson.

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