UCSD operates a cogeneration facility that supplies approximately 88% of the campus's electricity, making it less reliant on commercial utility providers. Cogeneration uses one fuel source (natural gas) to produce two forms of energy (electricity and heat). State-of–the-art gas turbines equipped with pollution controls are 45-50% more efficient than conventional natural gas power plants and produce 75% fewer emissions.
In addition to saving approximately $8 million per year in purchased utilities costs, cogeneration reduces:
- Energy losses due to transmission and distribution of electricity over the statewide electrical grid
- Reliance on out-of-state coal-burning power generation
- Regional congestion on SDGE’s grid system
All major campus buildings are networked to an Energy Management System (EMS). This computerized system centrally controls building mechanical systems based on occupancy. The EMS is programmed to reduce energy use in buildings during nights, weekends, and holidays. Simply by changing campuswide room temperature settings, UCSD can save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.