Summer Energy Cuts Seen Likely
Get ready for summertime energy reduction measures, warns Jim Dewey, energy manager for the campus Physical Facilities Department. If, as is likely, the state’s energy consumption starts to run past available resources, or if energy prices climb too high, UCSB and other large energy-users will be issued an advance notice to reduce demand, Dewey says.
Cutting campus demand may mean major steps, like temporarily shutting down a nonessential mechanical system, and many small measures. Among the latter would be turning off unnecessary indoor lighting and office equipment. The curtailment would last three hours because that is UCSB’s commitment under Southern California Edison’s Demand Reserve Program (DRP), Dewey said.
A kind of safety valve on state electrical power demand, the DRP is a way to get rapid but voluntary reductions during peak hours, he explained. For UCSB, participation in the DRP also helps the campus avoid more extreme measures by Edison, such as rolling power blackouts, which could have unpleasant consequences in research labs across the campus.