Standing Procedures for Energy Alert

When an energy alert (usage cutback) message via the Telephone Alert System is received, the actions outlined in this memorandum should be taken.

The University electric bill has two components. The first is that based on day-to-day consumption measured in terms of kilowatt hours, and the amount we pay reflects the power company's cost of fuel and other expenses involved in meeting that consumption. The second element is that which is based upon the demand imposed on the power company's system at the University's peak-use period, whenever that might occur. The University's peak-use periods usually occur during the summer on particularly hot and humid days. It is to meet demand peaks such as this that the power company must develop generating capacity, and users must ultimately pay the cost of that capacity though it may be used only two or three times a year. Hence, whenever the power consumption of the campus exceeds the previous peak for a 15-minute period, a new demand charge is added to the electric bill of the campus and that additional charge is paid the year round.

The energy conservation measures practiced on this campus on a year-round basis result in dollar savings relating to the first element of our electric bill. Savings relating to the second element -- the system demand element -- are realized by following certain practices designed to lower the demand for energy output on particularly hot and humid days when it appears that the campus is likely to establish a new demand peak. These special measures are outlined below.

The campus is advised of the need to implement special measures to cut back on electrical consumption in order to avoid establishing a new demand peak by means of the Telephone Alert System. The message that will be transmitted via the Telephone Alert System to activate electrical use reduction measures will be as follows:

"This is _____ at Extension X-XXXX in the Chancellor's office. The campus is on an energy alert today from _____ to _____ . Please follow established procedures for reducing electrical demand. Please relay this message in accordance with the Telephone Alert System and advise all personnel within your unit."

The procedures to be followed for reducing electrical demand upon receipt of this message are as follows:

  1. Turn off nonessential equipment; i.e., hot plates, heating pads, stills, coffee pots, and, in unoccupied areas, window air conditioners and lights.
  2. Postpone using or minimize the use of any equipment that requires large quantities of electrical power such as duplicating equipment, cold rooms, centrifuges, refrigerated baths, electric kilns, and ovens. The best time to use such equipment is prior to 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.
  3. For equipment which must be used, post a schedule of operation so that all pieces will not be in operation at the same time.
  4. Normal working light and typewriters are not heavy electrical demand items and may be left on.

Users of room air conditioners and departmentally-controlled air conditioners used for comfort cooling are urged to:

  1. If the unit is not on, avoid turning on the unit until the room temperature rises to 82 degrees F or higher.
  2. Turn units off for an hour every other hour. More comfortable conditions can be maintained if half the units in an area are kept off for one hour, then turned back on while the other half are turned off the next hour, etc. (Central air conditioners which are used for comfort cooling will be similarly cycled by Facilities & Services.
  3. Minimize the cooling load:
    • Use shades and blinds to reduce solar heat gain.
    • Use lights and electric appliances as sparingly as possible.
    • Keep doors and windows shut to prevent exfiltration of cool air.

The intent of these emergency measures is not to curtail essential ongoing University operations but rather to curtail the nonessentials and to arrange for an orderly, alternating schedule of use of essential equipment wherever possible so that high peak demands established when all equipment is in operation at the same time are avoided. It is expected that comfort conditions will be somewhat less desirable, but it is not expected that any of the measures taken will or should render any campus unit or person inoperative.

Further questions concerning these procedures should be directed to the Vice President for Facilities Planning and Programs, 333-0375.