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Energy and Water Management 101 at SLAC

Editor's note: Please welcome SLAC's new energy program engineers, Rohendra Atapattu and Ted Schnipper. They will implement the energy conservation measures, explore and evaluate innovative sustainability initiatives and projects. In addition they will be providing a regular series of articles on energy and sustainability topics in SLAC Today.

Why is SLAC engaged in managing our energy consumption? The obvious reasons are that we want to reduce our costs and carbon footprint and to comply with the Department of Energy policies. Through reduction of energy and water costs, monies can go into the real reason SLAC exists—to conduct exciting scientific experiments that can benefit the world.

The less-obvious benefits include:

  • Improved comfort: through assessment, monitoring and trending of the environmental conditions within the spaces we work, we can more precisely know where problems exist and plan for immediate remedies or make longer term plans for improvement.
  • Reduced operating and maintenance costs: reduced energy consumption means that the facility equipment is operating correctly and is properly maintained.
  • Reduced system and equipment failures: through system assessment and continuous monitoring, anomalies are discovered earlier and failures are reduced, which reduces capital and operating costs.
  • Increased building and equipment life: a well maintained building will last longer and through continuous assessment and prudent care, SLAC infrastructure can last longer retaining a higher value.
  • Improved productivity of equipment and staff: through energy awareness, improved performance of equipment and staff will occur.
  • Improved environmental performance: reduced energy and water consumption reduces SLAC impact on our precious resources.
  • Be a leader: discovering and implementing technologies and innovative ways to reduce energy consumption.

SLAC's energy performance has a significant impact on our bottom line. Money that goes towards energy costs is diverted from that which could go towards our core business.

A couple of things you may not have known:

New and major renovation of buildings such as the new Building 901 and upcoming Buildings 28, 40, 41 and 52 are and will meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) GOLD star efficiency certification status.

Advanced metering is being implemented over several phases to help SLAC attain a better understanding where and how our energy and water are consumed, which can lead to reduction opportunities while meeting DOE requirements to sub-meter the site where economically feasible.

SLAC is committed to discovering ways to reduce energy and water consumption and carbon footprint and these will be highlighted in future articles.

For comments, suggestions and information, please feel free to contact us: Facilities Energy Program Engineers Ted Schnipper and Rohendra Atapattu.

—Ted Schnipper
SLAC Today, May 5, 2011