Save Now, Save Later by Cutting Peak Energy Usage

October 10, 2012

The principle of using everything in moderation can be wisely applied to Penn's thirst for electricity over the peak summer months (June through September). Using less energy, if done properly, can be both earth-friendly and cost-saving, now and in years ahead. The Penn community's efforts to keep down energy consumption this year while it was sweltering outside were again successful, with the University participating in programs to reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Actions taken by Facilities and Real Estate Services and the University community resulted in a peak reduction of nearly 9 megawatts (13%) during this period.


"Penn is a large electricity customer," explains Ken Ogawa, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance, "so when we cut back on the air conditioning and the lights during peak times, our supplier, PECO, notices." The drop in demand from a large customer benefits the entire region, not just from a sustainability perspective (less kWh consumed = less greenhouse gas emissions), but also in that it mitigates the need to build costly electrical infrastructure which could cause increases to energy prices.


Learn more about energy usage on the FRES website. A ticker on the right-hand side of the page provides real-time information about the wholesale power market. Members of the Penn Community can also access live electricity usage for the campus, and by building, over a 13-month period.


Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 includes a goal to increase the University’s recycling rate to 30% by 2019.

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