The Energy Office works with City employees to reduce energy use through educational outreach about energy conservation and efficiency. The office works with employees to implement energy saving programs in buildings and departments, like turning computers off, establishing policy around lighting, or buying ENERGY STAR rated equipment.
Department Energy Reduction Incentive Pilot
Currently, within the General Fund, the Department of Public Property pays utility bills for each department from one large, centralized utility budget. This creates an essential efficiency for the bill pay process but removes department responsibility for utility costs. A department can use energy without worrying about the costs, giving little incentive to apply energy efficiency measures or encourage energy conservation. The Office of Sustainability has been piloting an energy incentive pilot program with five departments (Fire, Police, Parks and Recreation, Public Property, and Health), with support from the Budget Office. Departments are rewarded for reducing their energy consumption by sharing the money saved. A second phase of the pilot is currently in the planning phase.
Demand response and load management
The Energy Office manages the City’s participation in energy load management programs, like demand response, which allow the City to save money with its operational flexibility. In these programs, the City is asked to reduce its energy consumption at key times throughout the year.
By responding to these events, the City has generated revenue of approximately $1.9 million each summer between 2010 and 2015 and saved millions in energy costs. In addition to demand response, many City buildings also take part in load management programs that lower their energy use at peak times to lower the cost to the City.
After implementation, some energy efficiency projects need attention to make sure that building performance is maintained. The Energy Office, through its Building Monitoring Pilot Program, monitors building activity for the City’s four largest downtown buildings. Through this program, the Energy Office communicates with operations personnel to highlight energy waste, help troubleshoot building controls, and highlight operations practices that need attention.