Energy Office

1978-2022: 44 Years of the UCB Energy Office

The Energy Office tracks, monitors, and manages energy usage campus-wide to reduce energy costs; improve design, performance, and operation of buildings; and provide feedback on energy usage to building occupants. We continuously monitor the operations and maintenance of campus facilities and are in contact with Building Managers regarding their facilities’ operation and utility consumption.

Electricity Demand Reduction Days

As part of UC Berkeley’s continued sustainability efforts and to help the electric grid during periods of peak demand when the grid has a higher mix of fossil fuel generation, UCB is participating in a statewide Demand Response program.From 4:00-8:00PM on the following Wednesdays, we plan on reducing campus energy consumption to help our surrounding community and enhance grid reliability. Some building comfort-cooling systems may be set back during this time period in order to reduce campus electricity load. Research spaces should not be affected.

  • June 8

  • August 10

  • October 12

How are we doing this and why is it important?

UC Berkeley is taking direct action to reduce the emissions from peaking power plants this summer and hedge against the risk of blackouts. Events are signaled by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and calls upon significant energy users (like UCB) to reduce electricity consumption during times of peak demand to maintain grid reliability, prevent rolling blackouts, and avoid activating peaker power plants, which are extremely inefficient and environmentally harmful. By reducing our demand during the afternoon on these three (3) days this summer, UCB also enables other critical communities to continue to receive power.

Your energy curtailment and participation during these events will directly contribute to the success of these vital sustainability efforts. For more information contact the Energy Office at energyoffice@berkeley.edu

Clean Energy Campus

Within eight years, Berkeley plans to switch to a new clean and resilient energy system that will phase out fossil fuels and demonstrate cutting-edge technologies and creative financing. For decades, Berkeley has led the world in climate solution technology and policy research. Now, the campus will be powered by an energy system that sets the standard in sustainable, resilient infrastructure. If you want to learn more about this initiative, visit Berkeley Clean Energy Campus.

Winter Break Curtailment Success!

Each winter break the Energy Office works with the EMS, Stationary Engineers, and Electric shops to turn down buildings to save energy. Lighting, ventilation and heating are turned off or set back for about a week and a half each year. Previously (2021-22), curtailment saved 815,611 kWh of electricity and 3,552,994 lbs of steam. Compared to the prior month’s baseline, electric use was 13.6% lower and steam use was 10.0% lower when normalized for weather. Together these savings totaled $174,926 and 516 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. With labor costs of just $15,000, the ROI was 1,116%! See more on our full curtailment report.

Energy Data and Dashboards

We installed building-level meters that track energy use in campus buildings. The Pulse Dashboard shows this real-time energy use of over 137 campus buildings. We are in the process of adding water meter data to the dashboard as well. The dashboard provides a visualization of energy and water savings associated with behavioral and technical improvements. We are also using integrated analytics to provide real-time feedback from this data to help identify anomalies and address large system malfunctions.

Energy Policy

UCBs Energy Use Policy, established in 2014, was developed to provide a local framework to support energy-efficient decisions. The policy provides guidance on how UC Berkeley manages its operations so that energy resources are used in the most sustainable manner possible while providing a safe and comfortable environment for teaching, research, and public service. The policy was amended in November 2020 and includes substantial updates to clarify and deepen energy efficiency opportunities in projects and align with Campus Building Department categories. There is also an expanded section on IT virtualization & centralization to improve efficiency and safety of both new and existing server locations. For any questions, please reach out to energyoffice@berkeley.edu

Thank you for your interest and participation in building a better campus and bending the carbon emissions curve

Cooling Request Review for Campus Projects Impacting Utility Use

The Energy Office reviews plans for campus projects that impact utility (energy and water) use. This process encourages efficient design that will not increase building utility use and, if needed, informs VC Administration of the quantified estimate of utility increase. Please note that any proposed project needs to have "no-net increase" per UCB Energy Policy. The review will determine if the proposed project results in no-net increase in the building's metered utility use. For those projects that result in a net increase, offsets will be required to make up for the expected increase. Offsets include energy efficiency and/or water conservation measures or on-site renewable energy generation. If you are a project or building manager working on a project that will impact utility use, please fill out the Cooling Request Form.

2019 Annual Report

The Energy Office's 2019 Annual Report showcases projects completed in 2019, their savings and impacts, and goals for 2020.

Energy Efficiency Projects

The Energy Office manages and provides input to a variety of energy efficiency projects. Through these projects we strive to make the campus as energy efficient as possible, and meet or exceed the UC system’s goal of 2% reduction in energy use each year. Many of these projects focus on HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) and lighting systems, since these systems are major contributors to energy usage in buildings. However, we also work on many other types of projects such as energy use of labs and IT equipment. 

Manager of Energy Office: Bruce Chamberlain

Meet The Team

Bruce Chamberlain Ahmed Hassani Kume Wolde Yara Eliyan
Energy Manager Energy Engineer Energy Engineer Sustainability Intern
Energy Office Logo - 40th Anniversary

By the Numbers

99,000 Gallons of water saved per year by one autoclave modernization

49% energy saved from fluorescent to LED lighting

49,000 Number of average Bay Area households powered by electric use of UC Berkeley

$112,000 Savings from 2017-2018 Curtailment

200,000 kWh and 67,000 therms Annual energy saved by efficient design of Berkeley Way West

Million Lamp Challenge Logo