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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.02
Liaison Sara McKinstry
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, San Diego
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 6.00 John Dilliott
Campus Energy Manager
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 190,121 MMBtu 158,058 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 10,910 MMBtu 96 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (excluding transportation fuels) 2,950,502 MMBtu 4,730,362 MMBtu
Total 3,151,533 MMBtu 4,888,516 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2008 Dec. 31, 2008

A brief description of when and why the building energy consumption baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

2008 is the baseline year because the campus expanded significantly in prior years, making 2008 a good baseline for comparison to today. 2008 is also the first year for which we have third-party verified climate data.

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 20,956,546 Gross Square Feet 13,292,382 Gross Square Feet

Source-site ratio for grid-purchased electricity:

Total building energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Site energy 0.15 MMBtu / GSF 0.37 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.17 MMBtu / GSF 0.39 MMBtu / GSF

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline:

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 868 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,091 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 4,812,061 Square Feet
Healthcare space 2,292,247 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
35,332,091 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
45.53 Btu / GSF / Degree-Day (°F)

Documentation (e.g. spreadsheet or utility records) to support the performance year energy consumption figures reported above:

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices in regard to energy efficiency (e.g. outreach and education efforts):

Facilities Management, Sustainability, Procurement, and Housing/Dining/Hospitality all work together to educate faculty, staff, students and community members about saving energy. Examples of outreach programs include the 2015 UC Cool Campus Challenge, a 10-week competition between all UC campuses aimed at reducing the UC carbon footprint and creating a culture of conservation across campuses; plugload reduction and shut the sash education for labs through the university Green Labs Program; plugload reduction and energy conservation behavior change through the university's Green Office Certification program; and outreach to students by the HDH EcoNauts, Sustainability interns, Facilities Management interns, and more.

A brief description of energy use standards and controls employed by the institution (e.g. building temperature standards, occupancy and vacancy sensors):

Most thermostats in offices and labs are centrally controlled for efficient and accurate temperature settings. (See the table below for settings.) In some instances; however, office members can make slight manual adjustments to these controls if the workspace is too warm or cool.

Office/ administrative spaces

Setting: Occupied 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays
Heating Mode: Keeps temperature above 70°
Cooling mode: Keeps temperature below 74°
No heating or cooling occurs between 70° and 74°

Setting: Standby 4:30–8 p.m. weekdays
Heating Mode: Keeps temperature above 68°
Cooling Mode: Keeps temperature below 76°
No heating or cooling occurs between 68° and 76°

Setting: Unoccupied 8 p.m.– 6 a.m. 7 days a week
Heating Mode: Keeps temperature above 66°
Cooling Mode: Keeps temperature below 78°
No heating or cooling occurs between 66° and 78°

Setting: Occupied 6 a.m.–6 p.m. weekdays
Heating Mode: Keeps temperature above 70°
Cooling Mode: Keeps temperature below 74°
No heating or cooling occurs between 70° and 74°

Setting: Unoccupied 6 p.m.–6 a.m. 7 days a week
Heating Mode: Keeps temperature above 68°
Cooling Mode: Keeps temperature below 76°
No heating or cooling occurs between 68° and 76°

A brief description of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and other energy-efficient lighting strategies employed by the institution:

Three parking lots, one parking structure, two gas stations, the Birch Aquarium exhibit areas, and 10% of campus walkways are lit with LED light fixtures. The campus is in the process of scoping additional LED installations for both interior and exterior applications.

A brief description of passive solar heating, geothermal systems, and related strategies employed by the institution:

A 300 kW solar water-heating system installed at the North Campus Housing Phase II project is one of the largest solar-thermal projects at a university in North America. In addition, two outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pools are heated by solar thermal systems.

A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution, e.g. combined heat and power (CHP):

The cogeneration plant provides 85% of the campus’s annual electricity needs. 54% of the campus’s 60 MMBtu/hr heating load is served by waste steam from the campus's cogeneration plant. Heat recovery from the cogeneration plant also drives 3 steam-expansion chillers that together provide 9,750 refrigeration tons. A 3.8 million gallon chilled water storage tank is connected to the chilled water system, and it permanently load shifts from on peak to off peak 3 to 6 MW per day. The combined heat and power achieves 66% overall simple efficiency. The two gas turbines in the cogeneration plant use a non-ammonia catalytic emission reduction system that produces only 1.5 ppm NOx.

Thanks to recent regulatory authority for piping "directed biogas", efforts are underway to contract for supplies of remote sources of biogas for use in the gas turbines as a substitute for natural gas.

In addition to the gas turbine cogeneration plant, UC San Diego has a 2.8 MW fuel cell that runs on directed biogas from the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. Construction is currently underway on a 350 ton absorption chiller that will run on the exhaust heat of the fuel cell.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace energy-consuming appliances, equipment and systems with high efficiency alternatives (e.g. building re-commissioning or retrofit programs):

In the last five years, UC San Diego’s energy efficiency program has prevented energy use totaling 42 million kilowatt-hrs and 2.7 million therms of natural gas, saving $7.4 million per year on our energy bills. Since 2008 we have invested over $100M in energy efficiency projects, and we plan on doing nearly $100M more through 2025 and beyond. Total cost to implement these projects was $42.9M, of which $11.5M was offset by incentives from the UC/CSU/IOU Partnership, delivered by SDG&E.

The program includes the following, among other projects: (1) major HVAC retrofits in all major lab buildings built prior to 1992 – seven completed and eight more underway; (2) recommissioning of 26 buildings; (3) elimination of all T12 fluorescent lighting on campus; (4) several LED and induction lighting installations, with occupancy sensor control; and more.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Note that this includes the Main Campus in La Jolla (including East Campus), but NOT the Hillcrest campus or other off-site facilities. This sum includes gas input for the onsite cogeneration plant (since UC San Diego owns the plant), electricity output of the fuel cell (since UC San Diego purchases the electricity from a third party through a power purchase agreement), electricity purchased from the utility, electricity generated by onsite solar panels, and gas purchased from the utility.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.