Lighting project advances carbon neutrality

PG&E presenting a check to campus officials
From left: Patrick Testoni, Campus Energy Manager, Sarah Gilchrist, Campus Building Management System Technician, Shawn Howard, Campus Project Manager, Samuel Zimmerman, PG&E Account Representative, and Melissa Hayes, PG&E Energy Efficiency Program Engineer. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

A lighting retrofit in Humanities Buildings 1 and 2 has resulted in a 20 percent energy reduction in the buildings’ energy use.

As part of PG&E's Higher Education Partnership Program, UC Santa Cruz replaced nearly all the lighting in the buildings with LED bulbs and also installed dimmers that respond to occupancy and the amount of daylight. The project will save more than 105,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year. UC Santa Cruz was awarded $16,384 from PG&E to help fund the project.

“This project was highly successful because of the active collaboration of the Humanities staff, the PPDO facilities staff, and PG&E engineers,” said Patrick Testoni, campus energy manager. “The project advances our sustainability and efficiency by reducing our energy footprint and maintenance needs, while also improving lighting quality.”

More retrofits are in the works. Social Sciences 1 and 2 have recently been completed, with Earth and Marine, Sinsheimer Labs, Classroom Unit, and Thimann Lecture Hall scheduled for later in the year.

UC Santa Cruz has completed 69 projects under the program, resulting in savings of 10.5 million kilowatt (kWH) hours and 560,000 therms annually. The campus has earned more than $3 million in incentives from PG&E.