UAB’s Department of Energy Management is dedicated to conserving energy, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Much of their work in the past has been behind the scenes like monitoring energy consumption, performing energy audits, implementing conservation programs, and installing equipment to conserve energy. Below is a sampling of some of the recently completed projects:
Building Temperature Setbacks
The Energy Management Department and the Campus Maintenance Department have recently completed a two-phase installation of temperature setback controls in 36 campus buildings. These two-phase installations are very successful in most of the buildings, with an estimated annual energy savings of over $1,039,000. Building temperature setback controls adjust the thermostat settings to conserve energy when buildings are unoccupied during nights, holidays, and weekends.
Efficient Lighting Upgrades
A typical fluorescent lighting upgrade consists of replacing four T-12 lamps with two T-8 lamps in a reflective fixture along with electronic-type ballast. Savings from this upgrade range from $26 to $74 per year, per fixture. Lighting upgrades have been installed in 33 buildings (over 8,000 fixtures to date) resulting in approximately $305,620 annually of electrical savings.
LED Exit Signs
LED (Light-Emitting Diode) exit light lamps utilize 2 to 5 watts of power and have an expected service life of 20 to 25 years, which greatly decreases maintenance costs. The energy savings per fixture can be as much as $20/sign/year alone. So far, there have been 450 installations by Hospital Maintenance and 2,256 by Campus Maintenance in 84 buildings. This results in a total annual savings in electricity of over $56,000.
Building Research/Occupancy/Lighting Studies with School of Engineering
Energy Management has teamed with graduate students from the School of Engineering to provide extensive occupancy and lighting surveys of buildings around campus. These room-by-room surveys provide valuable information needed to recommend the most efficient ways to set building heating and cooling schedules, lighting upgrades, and occupancy-based lighting sensors.
Energy Management works with Boiler Operator,
Donnie Melvin, to keep boilers running efficiently.
In most cases, boilers use natural gas to create heat which in turn produces hot water or steam. Digital computerized air to gas ratio control insures the most efficient boiler operations. Old technology employs less reliable mechanical linkage while new technologies use very accurate electrical motors to control combustion. UAB’s Energy Management has installed more efficient controls and calibrated existing boilers resulting in savings of over $150,000/per year.
More than 3,525 incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescent light bulbs with an annual savings in electricity of over $64,676. Each compact fluorescent bulb:
- Uses at least 2/3 less energy than a standard bulb
- Lasts up to 10 times as long
- Eliminates the need to burn 110 pounds of coal to generate electricity
- Saves $30 or more in energy costs
- Prevents 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
- Ensures a brighter future
UAB Engineer Kelly Winnett uses EnergyCAP
Utility Software Monitoring
Energy Management has turned to EnergyCAP, a utilities software monitoring system, to achieve cost-saving results. Specifically, the EnergyCAP system coordinates five types of data for over 150 buildings on campus: electricity, steam, natural gas, chilled water, and water/sewer. Since 2006, UAB Energy Management has spotted and recovered more than $1,772,110 in utility billing errors. The solution also has helped officials pinpoint a damaged gas meter, leaking valves, and recurring double charges on a sewage account.