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Deep Energy Efficiency: Getting to Scale

Sustainable Infrastructures

The Sustainable Infrastructures Initiative pursues information technology research in energy, water, and transportation as parts of the...

Deep Energy Efficiency: Getting to Scale

Already a leader in the shift to sustainable energy systems, in 2013 the University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative made a commitment to re-doubling efforts toward climate stability. The goal is net zero greenhouse gas emissions from UC’s buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025.

Energy efficiency is a primary strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. Impressive energy efficiency retrofits over the last decade have already avoided at least 10% additional GHG emissions UC system-wide relative to 2014. There is potential to triple this progress, or more, but the pace needs to quicken to meet imperatives for climate protection evident in the 2025 goal.

With support from UC’s Global Climate Leadership Council and CITRIS, the project Deep Energy Efficiency: Getting to Scale seeks a path to achieve the full potential for energy efficiency within the urgent timeframe for greenhouse gas reduction. Team efforts are focusing on planning methodology and financing alternatives. Lighting is the end-use system being studied in detail—to illustrate development of planning-level retrofit project designs from leading-edge reference projects.

The challenge of energy efficiency is in the multitude of energy using components that must be addressed in a variety of scenarios. For lighting in the UC system that manifests as over a million lighting fixtures to be considered as candidates for retrofit—usually with Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and a variety of controls designed for a diversity of space types.

Read more about the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative at