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Projects Updates for Energy Conservation Efforts

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  1. Energy iCAP Team Meeting Minutes from 2-10-21

    The Energy iCAP Team had a meeting on Feb. 10th where student member, Brinn McDowell, shared a presentation on calculated energy savings from green lab protocols that could greatly contribute towards energy conservation efforts. Updates were give on the Building Envelope Pilot Project, which is anticipated to start in March with several Energy iCAP Team students participating. Among other topics of discussion were ways to enforce compliance with state energy standards, to cooperate with student leaders across the Engineering, Architecture, and Design disciplines, and to condition vacated spaces in a time of distance-learning and -working. The agenda, meeting minutes, and chat log are attached below!

  2. Levenick Fellows Behavior Change project

    In Fall 2017, University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) Erica Myers and ACE Ph.D. Candidate Mateus Souza conducted a study to gauge whether detailed energy reports would influence student energy-saving behaviors. The project received funding through the Levenick iSEE Fellows Program, and ultimately determined that although similar experiments had proven effective in standard residential settings, the impact was negligible in residence halls where students do not directly pay for energy. On the other hand, simple nudges sent prior to winter break were effective in promoting the reduction of thermostat setpoints and energy consumption. Results from the study were later published at the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

  3. SSC funds Bevier Café Dishroom Upgrade

    The Bevier Café is a learning laboratory where FSHN students to get hands on experience running a food service establishment.  This project will reduce the carbon footprint of the Bevier Cafe by installing a new, energy efficient, ventless dishwashing machine. The café will showcase the improvements to students and the general public. Students will get experience planning and purchasing equipment that matches the university’s sustainability efforts. Additionally, students will be exposed to the process and improvements through facility lectures and educational tours.

  4. SSC funds Engineering Hall VAV Box Upgrades

    This student-led project upgrades one floor or 19 variable air volume (VAV) boxes to Direct Digital Controls and room level occupancy sensors in Engineering Hall. These measures will allow for scheduling and programming the air flow to the areas served, which will reduce the energy consumption for heating, cooling, and electricity. Currently the space is utilizing pneumatically controlled devices, which are not able to be adjusted on a schedule, so they run constantly at one specific set point. This results in a lack of ability to adjust to changing environmental conditions and results in less than optimal operating conditions. Making these scheduled systems for different settings will lower the unnecessary energy consumption in a building that gets a lot of use.

  5. SSC funds Illini Light Savers

    This project provides an energy consumption reduction solution for The English Building. The team will install occupancy sensing light control modules that can automatically shut off a room's lights when not in use. 11 rooms (classrooms and restrooms) have been selected for the improvements.

  6. 18F Semesterly Report - TBH

    We have begun data collection to compare baseline energy consumption to energy consumption after installation of the pilot project - energy efficient HVAC control retrofit. Sensors needed were determined and installed. Data collection has begun with 4 weeks of data so far. Initial review of the data has identified several challenges with the HVAC already including heating valves that are leaking by providing heat where not required, which explains why the Air Handler is getting rid of heat even in the winter. The variable air volume system is also not varying as it should. This is demonstrating some pitfalls of pneumatically controlled HVAC systems.

  7. EUI at Fruit Farm Admin Building

    Please see the attached Excel file for some Energy Use Intensity (MMBTU/GSF) and (kBTU/GSF) calculations for the Fruit Farm Admin Building.  I have also attached an Energy Star Portfolio Manager Technical Reference which gives numbers for average U.S. Energy Use Intensity by Property Type.  These numbers are given in kBTU/GSF for comparison.

     

    The good news is that the numbers have been decreasing from 2011 through 2017.  Since 2018 is not over yet it would not be fair to count that number, but from 2011 through 2017 the energy use intensity appears to have decreased to about half of its starting value!  The numbers range from about 299 MMBTU/GSF to about 153 MMBTU/GSF (about 45 kBTU/GSF to about 23 kBTU/GSF). 

     

    If you look in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager document, the UIUC Fruit Farm is on par with a small retail office (at the higher EUI levels from 2011) to a warehouse or other unoccupied space (at the lower EUI levels from more recent data).  This may be an indication of the level of activity of the facility, or it may just reflect the fact that you are getting a lot of geothermal energy (three to four units of geothermal energy for every one unit of electricity).  If you look in the table you will see that a laboratory is listed as 78.8 kBTU/GSF, which is about 3.5 times the 2017 calculated value of 23 kBTU/GSF for the Fruit Farm.

     

    Please note that the numbers I am comparing the Fruit Farm to are the site energy numbers in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager document, which reflect the amount of energy you are using at the site (meter readings).  Source energy numbers are higher and include losses due to energy conversion and distribution from where the energy was originally generated (likely a coal or natural gas plant in Illinois).

    - Frank Holcomb

  8. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Chacellor's approval

  9. March 2017 Sustainability Council Recommendations Approved

  10. March 2017 Sustainability Council Recommendations & Next Steps

    Director of iSEE, Evan DeLucia, summarized three recommendations presented at the March 2017 Sustainability Council meeting: EGen005 Rooftop Solar Standard, EGen003 Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Timeline, and ECons003 Conservation Budget, as well as the next steps, for Chancellor Jones’ approval.

    We followed up with the Sustainability Council on April 25, 2017, with the attached file.

    See Transmittal of EGen005 Rooftop Solar Standards here.

    See iWG Assessment for SWATeam recommendation EGen005 Rooftop Solar Standard here.

    See SWATeam recommendation EGen005 Rooftop Solar Standards here.

    See Transmittal of EGen003 PPA term to the Sustainability Council here.

    See iWG Assessment of EGen003 PPA Term here.

    See SWATeam recommendation EGen003 PPA Term here.

    See Transmittal of ECONS003 Conservation Budget to the Provost Office

    See iWG Assessment of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

    ee SWATeam Recommendation of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

     

  11. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Transmittal to the Council

    ECONS003 Conservation Budget Recommendation was transmitted to the Office of the Provost on March 6, 2017. The Council discussed the recommendation at this meeting.

    See iWG Assessment of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

    See SWATeam Recommendation of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

  12. ECBS SWATeam meeting minutes

    On the agenda at the ECBS SWATeam meeting:

    1) Discuss and comment on attached recommendation for institutionalizing Illini Lights Out;

    2) Illini Lights Out final planning for 24th of February;

    3) Participation in Earth Hour activities on campus;

    4) Discussion on what else to accomplish this year.

  13. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Assessment with comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on May 31, 2016, to discuss and start the assessment of the SWATeam recommendation ECONS003 Conservation Budget. They supported the Continued Funding for Energy Conservation (ECONS003 Conservation Budget) recommendation. The iWG's official comments for this recommendation was:

    "Strategic investment in energy conservation, including recommissioning and preventive maintenance, offers the campus a unique opportunity to achieve long-term savings in utility costs while also advancing the objectives of the Illinois Climate Action Plan. In contrast, failure to invest in conservation, while it may appear to offer short-term financial savings, will only lead to higher future utility costs; this is analogous to “eating the seed corn.” Campus efforts have already led to $8M/year savings.
    This SWATeam recommendation describes a number of key issues and needs that we recommend be addressed. Due to the major impact of this recommendation, the
    iCAP Working Group plans to transmit this to the Sustainability Council. However, due to the timely nature of budget discussions, we recommend that iSEE meet with the Provost to share this recommendation."

    See attached the iWG assessment complete with official comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation of ECON003 Conservation Budget

     

    Attached Files: 
  14. Conservation Budget Recommendation - Supplanted by ECONS003

  15. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Submittal

    The ECBS SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We recommend continuing to fund critical projects that are key to energy conservation efforts at UIUC. Given the budgetary constraints of the University of Illinois, the team has developed a prioritized list to guide decision makers about funding priorities. Please see noted references for additional rationale for our recommendations.

    Priority 1 (Top—Most important): RESTORE funding for energy conservation work to FY 15 levels (total of ~$2M) to allow the recommission teams to continue their work. Specifically:

    • Restore $610K in Systems & Controls / Energy Conservation FY 16 cuts (includes $250K Quick Payback.)

    • Provide funding to maintain the $1.15M needed for the 3 existing Recommissioning teams.

    • Protect this initiative from FY 17 budget cuts (including another $ 250K proposed cut in Quick Payback.)

    Priority 2: INCREASE the Recommissioning and Preventive Maintenance (PM) teams. IMPLEMENT systematic upgrades of building control systems.

    • Increase Recommissioning teams from 3 to 4 for FY2017 (increase of $ 350K for FY 17).

    • Provide funding for systematic building control upgrades at $1M/year to allow further conservation.

    Priority 3: MAINTAIN the State Utilities Budget (currently ~$65M/year). This will allow campus to reinvest energy savings in more conservation work while maintaining the ability to cover possible future fuel and power price increases. Future Energy Performance Contracts with ESCOs could be supported by this reinvestment, as well as providing funding support for debt service payments on borrows. We anticipate that another ~$100M will need to be spent on future ESCO/deferred maintenance projects.

    Priority 4: COORDINATE with the Campus Master Plan to retire campus space and reduce overall campus square footage. New capital projects must be optimized for energy conservation. Coordinate campus deferred maintenance estimated at (~$750M) with deferred maintenance projects, campus energy conservation efforts, and campus master plan efforts."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation ECONS003 Conservation Budget complete with comments from all the ECBS SWATeam members.

    See Supplanted ECONS001 Conservation Budget

  16. Uni High steam conservation project

    Associated Project(s): 

    Dave Hardin submitted a small project to replace about 35 obsolete thermostats and about 55 steam valves. There are several valves that are leaking through and heating the spaces, resulting in increased utility usage, as well as occupant discomfort. While we are doing this work, we will install a main isolation valve on the steam entrance line that is control by outside air temperature. Steam distribution goes around campus and turns the steam on/off twice a year for cooling and heating season, and with our lovely Illinois weather we could have significant temperatures swings that result in simultaneous heating and cooling situations. This isolation valve will eliminate those issues as well as provide a more comfortable building for the occupants while transitioning through season changes.

  17. Illini Lights Out Results

    Energy Conservation and Building Standards SWATeam Recommendation Summary:
    Illini Lights Out – Friday April 15th 6pm – 7pm

    Summary: Student volunteers switched off lights in 8 buildings around the Main Quad, counted the number of lights and the room number on a tally sheet and closed any windows left open. Students were given free rein on how to document lights in rooms (some chose to write the rooms with lights off and on, some just the rooms with lights on) and which (unlocked) rooms to enter – as long as they recorded the number of lights switched off. After returning their tally sheets they filled out a short survey and enjoyed some pizza.

    Buildings and Number of Lights Turned Off:

    • English Building: 100
    • Gregory Hall: 540
    • Lincoln Hall: 60
    • Daniel Kinley Hall: 42
    • Davenport Hall: 191
    • Noyes Laboratory: 75
    • Altgeld Hall: 182
    • Foreign Languages Building: 343

    Total: 1, 533

    Number of windows closed: 71


    Student volunteers: 22 students from 18 different majors, from ALL academic years.

    Student Feedback: Fun & positive environment. Advertise more. Recruit more people. Do it more often. Develop consistent counting metric.

    Suggested Buildings: Armory, NSRC, Illini Union, Psychology Building, South Quad, ALL.

    Conclusions/Implications:

    • Students keen to participate again – more advertising = more participants.
    • Significant room to expand initiative across campus: north/south quad.
    • Not all buildings can be audited due to sensitive information or lack of classrooms.
    • Specific rooms/ numbers and number of lights should be provided in future to simplify volunteer instructions and tally sheets. However, many accessible hallway lights were switched off during this event.
    • Partnership with local restaurant would make this more cost effective to run and maintain.
    • Better education of the importance of keeping windows closed to maintain heating/cooling efficiencies needed – especially when weather transitions from cool to warm. 
    • Directly addresses iCAP Chapter 2. Objective 4: Engage and incentivise the campus community in energy conservation.

    Illini Lights Out is an effective and cost efficient way to help with energy conservation efforts and engages students on campus!!

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