CBS Newsletter
Spring 1997
pg. 1

LBNL's In-House Energy Management Program

IHEM retrofit projects save Berkeley Lab $2.3 million per year in electricity costs. The increase in energy use after 1994 reflects the start-up of new experimental facilities.

Technologies developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Center for Building Science have helped energy users in the U.S. and throughout the world save energy since the 1970s. To save energy and money by applying energy-efficient technology and practices in its own facilities, as well as set an example for the rest of the world, Berkeley Lab launched an energy-savings program in 1985. The efforts of the In-House Energy Management Program (IHEM) have led to an annual savings of $2.3 million in energy costs at Berkeley Lab. Additional benefits include reduced maintenance from capital equipment improvements (far surpassing federal energy use reduction goals for government agencies), decreased pollution, improved worker productivity, and the dissemination of knowledge about energy-efficient technologies.

Success at Home

"IHEM meets its energy-saving objectives by first performing studies to identify energy-efficiency retrofit projects, and then managing the retrofit projects that are found to be cost-effective," says IHEM section chief Doug Lockhart. Since 1985, the organization has conducted more than 40 studies on Berkeley Lab facilities. Between 1990 and 1995, IHEM implemented 27 projects, that collectively saved an estimated 94,250 million BTUs-more than 28 percent of the Lab's annual energy consumption before the retrofit.

"Since 1985, IHEM has reduced the Lab's energy use by 41 percent through the 1996 fiscal year. This figure exceeds a federal goal for all agencies to reduce their energy use 10 percent within the same period," says Lockhart. Berkeley Lab's utilities cost $3.86 million in the 1995 fiscal year. The programs managed by IHEM are saving the lab $2.3 million per year.

In addition to two architecture and engineering firms, IHEM also draws on the Center's many researchers in energy-efficient technology and program design. This cooperation led in 1994 to the creation of the Applications Team (Fall 1994, p. 1), a joint venture intended to speed the deployment of energy-efficient technologies and financing programs in markets throughout the U.S.

IHEM's retrofits are too numerous to list, spanning the full array of available energy-efficient technologies. Berkeley Lab's wide variety of buildings ranges from temporary office trailers to specialized laboratory buildings to large multilaboratory structures with complex lighting, HVAC, and energy requirements. IHEM's efforts have included lighting, motor, and HVAC retrofits (Summer 1994, p. 5); chiller upgrades and replacements; and the installation of variable-speed drives and improved energy monitoring and control systems (EMCS).

One example of the program's willingness to adopt a new technology is its push toward more energy-efficient lighting. "IHEM standardized the Lab on T-8 fluorescent lighting and installed it throughout the Lab when it was still an emerging technology," according to Lockhart. In a retrofit of emergency exit signs, IHEM adopted LED signs that are up to three times as efficient as their incandescent counterparts.

In the area of controls engineering, IHEM engineers oversaw the installation of an EMCS with more than 8,000 monitoring and control points, with another 2,000 to be installed. All research at the Lab that requires HVAC controls, laboratory pressurization, and central plant equipment is tied into this system, which optimizes energy use and maintains energy services at a high level of quality. The group also analyzes utility bills to ensure that the Lab's energy charges are accurate, and manages an employee energy-awareness program.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to the energy benefits of IHEM's work, there are other environmental benefits. For example, eight retrofit projects completed in 1996 saved more than 16 million kWh in energy annually and reduced the emissions from fossil-fuel power plants by 8,200 tons of carbon dioxide, 9,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 12,300 tons of nitrogen oxides. Replacing an old chiller with new, efficient technology also reduced the CFCs in use at the Lab, and a refrigerant recovery program helped ensure that refrigeration equipment was well maintained, to prevent CFC leakage.

Future Plans-Working Outside the Lab

As the number of new opportunities to save energy at Berkeley Lab decreases, IHEM staff members are focusing more on the outside world through the Applications Team. These projects include developing an energy measurement and verification protocol (Winter 1996, p.8), retrofiting the federal building in San Francisco (Winter 1997, p. 4), developing a design guide for energy-efficient labs (Fall 1996, p. 8), and collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service (Fall 1995, p. 8; Winter 1997, p. 8).

"With the terrific support we've had from the DOE IHEM program, and now from the Federal Energy Management Program, we are in a unique position to leverage our expertise in ways that will effect a reduction in federal energy use nationwide," concludes Lockhart.

—Allan Chen

Info icon

Doug Lockhart
In-House Energy Management Program
(510) 486-5120; (510) 486-4101 fax

Dale Sartor
Applications Team
(510) 486-5988; (510) 486-5394 fax

This work is supported by the Federal Energy Management Program.


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