Higher Ed Lab Closer to Sustainability with 30% Estimated Energy Savings

A UC Davis lab participating in the the Smart Labs Incentive Program (Smart Labs Program) received approval of initial savings estimates by PG&E, which are almost a 30% reduction in annual electricity use. To get here, the Smart Labs Program provided UC Davis:

  • free technical assistance including:
    • a scoping study,
    • a ventilation risk assessment,
    • HVAC testing, and
    • discussions and webinars with the Facilities and Environmental, Health and Safety teams.

Other projects are in progress at two sister UC schools and two major pharmaceutical campuses.  

Lab Annual Estimated Energy Savings

The estimated building energy savings amount to an annual usage reduction of:

  • 29% electricity,
  • 16% chilled water, and
  • 37% steam.

Smart Labs Program engineers estimated savings using a combination of bin simulations, engineering calculations, and energy modeling. The calculated savings provided the basis for program incentives, but final savings, and dollars, will be determined based on the real, whole building level energy meter since it is a Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) program.  

Energy Saving Project Implementation Measures

The UC Davis Sciences Laboratory building is now off to the races with its implementation phase. The major implementation measures are:

  1. risk-based ventilation rates for both laboratories and fume hoods (including unoccupied setbacks),
  2. VFDs and wind-based controls on the exhaust fans, and
  3. AHU Controls Optimization (primarily SAT deadband).

The Davis team is up to the challenge and the Smart Labs Program also provides design review during implementation to help with those pesky details.

UC Davis’ Energy Engineering Supervisor, Nicolas Fauchier-Magnan, appreciates the collaboration with the Smart Labs Program team.

“The Quantitative Assessment report gives us the confidence we need to invest budget and effort towards implementation, and the potential incentive amounts will be especially helpful in improving the financials of the project and getting buy-in from our management for this investment”, he said.  

The Smart Labs Program customer enrollment window deadline is rapidly approaching. New customers must enroll by July 31, 2022 to be eligible for the program’s free technical assistance and incentives.  

Program Eligibility and Getting Started

Customers should consider participating if buildings are:

  • 50k s.f. or larger,
  • with 25+% lab space,
  • served by 100% outside air at rates above 6 ACH, and
  • have a willingness to use hazard assessment to guide ventilation rates.

Contact us anytime at info@smartlabs.energy for more information.

About Smart Labs Program

The Smart Labs Program spreads the best practices of a Smart Labs process to reduce energy use in lab buildings while maintaining safe operating conditions in PG&E’s northern California region. The Smart Labs Program is a PG&E energy efficiency program which provides both technical assistance and financial incentives for eligible customer projects. Operated by the energy geeks of kW Engineering and the ventilation nerds of 3Flow, the Program process focuses on systematic risk assessment to set the ventilation needs of laboratory environments while casting a wide net on improvement measures that lead to safe and efficient operation.

Learn more about the program here: https://smartlabs.energy/

Scroll to Top