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Campus reduces electric usage by 6.6 megawatts during Thursday test

Executive Director of Facilities Management Mike Gebeke wrote the following letter to the Athens campus community after Thursday's Demand Response reduction test: 

On Thursday, June 23, the Ohio University campus participated in a Demand Response Reduction test. We needed to demonstrate our ability to decrease our electrical usage by 4 megawatts to be eligible for the maximum payment to our central utility account.

To say the test was successful is an understatement. We reduced our electric usage by 6.6 megawatts for one hour during the test!

During this time, we had no calls or problems in the areas impacted by the controlled shutdowns. Along with air handlers, chillers and other equipment that could be done without for a short time, the campus reduced the lighting and other small appliance or "plug loads" at the same time. This demonstrated a larger than expected reduction due in large part to the incredible teamwork by the campus community.

An average campus of our size was expected to be able to shed only about 4 megawatts. Instead we beat that estimate by 65 percent. The electric load shed is equivalent to approximately 2,160 average homes electric usage for one hour.

In the future, if we are asked to shed the 4 megawatts as agreed upon in our contract, we will have a 24-hour notice that it may be required and a one-hour final notice that we will have to reduce our usage. This test let us know that we can use the University Demand Reduction response and the controlled shutdowns to meet the goals necessary to qualify for the payment.

Now for the really good news. We (Ohio University) have qualified for the $136,920 payment and we have demonstrated that the University community can reduce our electric usage to help combat the increasing cost of utilities in the future! Facilities and the Office of Sustainability will continue to look for more ways to save energy and reduce utility costs in the future.

We look forward to your continued help in these programs and we thank you for your participation in this Demand Response Reduction program.

Again, thank you for your help in this amazing success.