Energy conservation nets $1 million rebate

Photo: Building Maintenance Services who participated in the Briggs Hall retrofit, pictured on the Briggs Hall entry staircase
<b>Million-dollar team:</b> Building Maintenance Services (part of Facilities Management) employees who participated in the Briggs Hall energy retrofit, pictured on the Briggs Hall entry staircase during the March 14 check presentation. There's the big c

The PG&E rebates keep on coming! This week, UC Davis received $1 million for a Briggs Hall energy conservation project that cut the university’s electric and gas bills by an estimated $350,000 a year.

The March 14 presentation, in the form of a giant check, took place on the steps of Briggs Hall, a lab-research building more than 40 years old — but with a retrofit that is saving more than 4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 80,000 therms of gas annually.

A second giant, ceremonial check, for $2.6 million, represented everything paid to UC Davis to date for projects that qualified for 2012 rebates through the state’s Strategic Energy Partnership, which is funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

This check included the $1 million Briggs Hall rebate and $294,267 as the first installment on a half-million-dollar rebate for the condensing economizer project at the campus steam plant. The $2.6 million covered 33 projects in all, with the rebates ranging from as little as $1,138 to $1 million for Briggs.

When all the accounting is done for the last year's projects, UC Davis figures it will have received about $8 million in rebates since the Strategic Energy Partnership began in 2008-09, according to Josh Morejohn, energy manager in Facilities Management.

The university has undertaken 110 projects in 65 buildings, saving $4.6 million in energy costs.

At Briggs Hall, workers removed the heat recovery wheels and did an “air rebalance,” measuring and adjusting airflows throughout the building. The wheels, original equipment when the building opened in 1971, transferred heat between the incoming and outgoing airstreams.

Unfortunately, the wheels had not been functioning for many years — and yet they stayed in place, interrupting airflow, putting undue strain on the air handling system and wasting energy.

Earlier coverage

“Campus turns waste water vapor to heat for Tercero 3,” Dateline UC Davis (Jan. 25, 2013)

“Energy-conservation projects save campus $4.63 million,” Dateline UC Davis (Jan. 25, 2013)

“Sustainability savings add up: $91M and counting,” UC Office of the President (Jan. 15, 2013)

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Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,

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