Strategic Energy Plan

UC Irvine kicked off the 2009 Strategic Energy Plan (SEP) with the lofty goal of saving 10,000,000 kWh and 80,000 therms of natural gas. Facilities Management met the goals, and now seeks to build on that success with another round of energy saving projects. The projects become more complex as the "low hanging fruit" have been picked. In 2010 and 2011, Facilities Management is also working with campus auxiliaries such as Housing, Parking and Transportation, Athletics, Student Center, and Campus Recreation to ensure that no opportunities are missed. During the two year period Facilities’ goal is to save 17,000,000 kWh and 150,000 therms of natural gas.

The SEP is a cooperative project involving the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and the Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) Partnership. The UC/CSU/IOU Partnership is a unique, statewide energy efficiency program designed to achieve cost-effective immediate and persistent electricity peak energy and demand savings and natural gas savings. UC Irvine is served by two of the investor own utilities (IOU), Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas. The other IOUs are San Diego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). There are 33 UC and CSU campuses in the program. For more detailed information visit

The SEP program for 2010-11 includes energy efficiency Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) retrofits, lighting retrofits, and centralized demand controlled ventilation.

The Partnership capitalizes on the vast resources and expertise of UC, CSU and California’s IOUs. The UC portion is funded by bonds and incentive payments by IOU’s.

HVAC retrofits projects:

  • Conversion of McGaugh Hall, Reines Hall, and Gillespie Neuroscience buildings from constant air volume to variable volume systems.
  • Installation of a centralized demand controlled ventilation system in 7 buildings. These systems increase air change rates only when indoor air quality requires additional flows.
  • Conversion of constant air volume exhaust stacks to variable air volume exhaust stacks. This ground breaking retrofit was made possible through a thorough safety and feasibility analysis funded by the UC Office of the President.
  • Outdated pneumatic control systems will be upgraded to direct digital control systems in McGaugh Hall and Reines Hall.

Lighting Retrofits projects:

  • Replacing existing 32-watt fluorescent lamps with energy efficient 25-watt lamps and low ballast factor ballasts in 24 buildings along with the installation of occupancy sensors. This is a continuation of the successful 2009 retrofit.
  • Installing new fixtures with high output fluorescent lamps, enhanced aluminum reflectors and controls in the Bren Events Center.
  • Replacement of lighting in the all parking lots and campus roadways with state of the art induction lighting.

Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx):

UCI started MBCx for eleven buildings in 2009. The normal MBCx process requires 11 months to complete; therefore, these projects will finish in 2010. As part of the program we will install energy monitoring and metering equipment in the buildings as needed. In order to identify energy savings opportunities we need to monitor the energy used. MBCx is a systematic process for optimizing an existing building’s performance by identifying operational deficiencies and making necessary adjustments to correct the system. Emphasis is on whole building metering, database analysis and storage of energy records, and long term monitoring of projects.

In 2010 and 2011 UC Irvine will start new MBCx projects in selected buildings as well as at the Central Plant. These projects will complete in 2012.

Please contact the UCI Campus Energy Manager for further information.