Texas A&M University System – Energy Management Program

Core competencies and expertise in the areas of utilities and energy optimization can be leveraged System-wide by providing guidance to regional campuses, establishing metrics and developing a program to ensure needs are met most cost effectively, with a goal of reducing operating costs while achieving operational improvements and enhancing service levels. To achieve these results, a near term strategy should be employed to establish a thorough understanding of opportunities and then quantify and implement cost avoidance opportunities at each campus. The primary steps involved are:

  1. establish framework and gain support for System-wide initiative,
  2. develop an energy consumption and cost baseline for each campus – including utility plants, distribution systems, and major campus buildings,
  3. identify capabilities and opportunities for improvement at each campus,
  4. identify and quantify the potential for energy and cost savings,
  5. implement the ‘low hanging’ energy consumption reduction opportunities,
  6. identify opportunities for organizational, operational and efficiency improvements that will require additional resources or capital investment, and
  7. establish and manage an ongoing program to ensure responsiveness, pro-activity, and continuous improvement.

While the program will be led by staff from the College Station campus, it is not intended to be a College Station managed program but rather a collaborative team effort in which all System campuses work together to openly share ideas and best practices. The College Station campus will lead the way in establishing baselines and benchmarks while identifying opportunities and resource requirements through collaboration with staff and management at each campus. Ultimately, it will be up to each campus to determine if and how identified opportunities will be implemented. Strong, ongoing support from both System and campus level management is essential for the program to be successful.

It is important to note that the proposed program does not include any financial or other resources for campus-specific activities such as retro-commissioning, data collection, energy stewardship program, costs for campus members to attend energy management meetings, capital improvements, or employee wages and salaries. What it does include is a system-wide focus on energy management in which solid baselines and targets will be developed for campuses and buildings, identification of buildings not meeting performance targets, development of system-wide standards for design, space conditions (temperature, humidity, air flow, lighting), plant optimization, HVAC setbacks and scheduling, with recommendations for improvement and reporting of results, and best practices shared across the system. In addition, the framework for the Energy Stewardship Program in place at the College Station campus will be rolled out to all system components. To maximize results, this program will require an annual reinvestment of savings as well as an ongoing commitment of management, staff time, and other resources at each campus.

Near Term (3 to 6 months)

Data Collection and Understanding

  • Document total gross square footage (GSF) for each campus and building
  • Compile campus energy (electricity & natural gas) and water consumption and cost
  • Identify utility metering capability of each campus and building
  • Determine campus Energy Use Index (EUI), measured in mBTU per GSF (for 5 year period)
  • Compile data for campus building size/type and establish a consumption/cost profile for each
  • Develop an EUI and Energy Cost Index (ECI) report for each campus and major building
  • Measure and document building temperature set points for cooling and heating
  • Determine HVAC setbacks and schedules for each campus and building
  • Collect building automation system capabilities and data for each campus and building
  • Determine thermal system (chilled and heating hot water) temperature reset schedules
  • Collect utility plant data for cooling and heating capacities and efficiencies
  • Collect data (capacity, pressure, flow, delta T) on thermal distribution systems
  • Compile data on significant campus equipment, such as chillers, boilers, pumps & generators

Identification of Issues and Opportunities

  • Review and compare the EUI and ECI of each campus and building
  • Develop a list of high EUI and ECI buildings by campus to help prioritize efforts
  • Identify opportunities on each campus that can be implemented through plant optimization, HVAC scheduling/setback, temperature set points, and thermal loop temperature reset
  • Identify cost savings potential of each opportunity and resources required to implement
  • Identify buildings that are candidates for retro-commissioning through modeling & inspection
  • Identify the use patterns of the higher energy consumers and strategy to reduce consumption
  • Identify maintenance issues or constraints preventing efficient operation of facilities
  • Identify HVAC building automation system improvement opportunity on each campus
  • Identify specific facilities and systems that have operational problems to be addressed
  • Identify and prioritize solutions that can be implemented to improve operation and efficiency

Initial Implementation

  • Report EUI and ECI, with baseline and improvements, for each campus and major building
  • Compare campuses to one another and benchmark data to prioritize effort and resources
  • Establish and implement consistent and supportable design and operating standards
  • Work in close coordination with each campus facilities/utilities team to meet building proctors, facility managers and occupants in the high EUI/ECI buildings to identify and implement solutions to achieve consumption and cost reduction
  • Work in close coordination with the campus facilities/utilities team to retro-commission and tune utility plants and building automation systems to achieve optimum performance
  • Establish the framework to implement an energy stewardship program at each location

Mid-Term (6 to 12 months)

  • Provide monthly and annual reporting on the energy cost and consumption performance of each campus and overall to compare performance against established targets
  • Identify opportunities in utility metering and monitoring capabilities to fully understand potential for improved energy and water consumption reduction, cost recovery, and cost savings
  • Develop energy stewardship program on each campus and assist with hiring and training
  • Identify cost saving opportunities available through operational changes, equipment/system upgrade and/or replacement
  • Conduct annual System-wide energy conferences where campus personnel and management meet together to learn and share ideas
  • Establish System-wide standard to require all new construction be designed to meet an energy efficiency benchmark 20 percent better than required by ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010
  • Roll out System-wide energy reporting capability using Texas A&M University program as a model. Establish ability to present dashboard views of energy consumption and cost by building, campus location, and overall A&M System
  • Establish framework to develop System-wide utility and energy infrastructure capital planning

On-Going Work with System Components (12 months and beyond)

  • Continue providing reports and guidance for operational improvement and capital planning
  • Develop a System-wide strategy to upgrade utility metering and monitoring capabilities to fully understand energy and water consumption, cost recovery, and cost saving opportunities
  • Develop a System-wide and campus-level Green House Gas (GHG) and carbon footprint baseline and reduction strategy
  • Better understand and reduce the cost of producing and distributing thermal energy for cooling and heating
  • Better understand the cost of other utilities such as domestic water, sanitary sewer, solid waste & recycling to ensure most cost-effective service
  • Establish a System-wide approach to the management of fume hoods and lab space to ensure uniform standards and reduce cost by eliminating losses and excessive air flow
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy to upgrade building automation systems – utilizing System-wide pricing, energy conservation and efficiency improvement standards
  • Fully implement, where practical, the concepts of the TAMU Energy Action Plan 2015 at all regional campuses, geared to meet needs of each location
  • Jointly develop an education and promotion program to ensure TAMUS is recognized as a leader in the field of energy conservation and efficiency