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Rice University Benefits from Flat Rate, Peak Use Programs

November 10, 2016 By Carl Weinschenk

riceRice University in Houston has benefitted to the tune of $399,405 in revenue and savings by participating in voluntary programs that reduce peak electric use.

The Rice Thresher, the student newspaper, says that a key program is Emergency Response Service-30. During times of peak energy use, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas calls Rice to request that it reduce energy use by 3 MW. Another program contributing to the savings is The Load Share program, which focuses on reducing energy use during the summer, the story says.

Rice saved $1.6 million during an 18-month period after it switched from purchasing electricity per kilowatt hour to a flat rate model.

Higher education offers many examples of energy efficiency. Last month, Honeywell Building Solutions said that it is replacing and upgrading equipment at the University of Mount Olive, which is in the North Carolina town of the same name.

The project is wide-ranging. Four residence halls will get new HVAC and hot water systems. The academic and administrative buildings will get LEDs and sensors that turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied. A computer power management system will put PCs into a deep sleep mode when they are not in use for a long period of time, which is an energy saver. The press release also says that 12 buildings will receive water retrofits.

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