Power Update: Claremont Colleges Vote to Stay in I-6 Contract

The Claremont Colleges have voted unanimously to remain in the I-6 “interruptible power” rate contract with Southern California Edison. The decision is based on a number of factors, including cost, the likelihood of rolling blackouts and the need for back-up generators regardless of the I-6 contract. Large-scale generators installed this spring should see The Claremont Colleges through most of any power outage, whether through a voluntary shutdown requested of I-6 customers, or a rolling blackout.

Why I-6?

A number of factors contributed to The Claremont Colleges’ decision to remain in the I-6 interruptible power contract. The back-up generators installed this spring remain a necessity regardless of I-6, due to the likelihood this summer of rolling blackouts for California utility customers. The percentage savings to the college for being an I-6 customer will remain in place regardless of any rate increases approved by Southern California Edison. In addition, I-6 customers receive 30-minute warnings prior to voluntary shutdowns, which allows time for generator start-up. There are 14 possible shutdowns remaining in the 25 allotted SCE by the Public Utilities Commission through December 31, 2001.

Conservation:

Summertime demands on the state’s power grid make it more important than ever that we participate in prudent energy conservation practices. The conservation efforts already made have resulted in a 10 percent decrease in CMC’s energy usage. If a usage reduction of 20 percent can be maintained, the college will receive an additional 20 percent reduction in energy costs.

Conservation efforts and recommendations will be monitored continuously throughout the coming weeks and months, and any adjustments will be conveyed.

Following is an outline of our summer energy conservation plan adopted by The Claremont Colleges.

Conservation Measures/The Claremont Colleges:

* Turn off computers and other equipment when not in use; schedule use in blocks of time rather than leaving equipment on continuously throughout the day.
* Set cooling temperatures at 74 degrees or higher.
* Disable all HVAC after-hours override buttons.
* Schedule weekend air conditioning on an as-needed basis for conference activities and official school functions. No weekend air conditioning for faculty/staff office use.
* Limit operating hours for chillers to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for academic and administration buildings. Fans will be running and air will be circulated before and after the chillers are turned on.
* Turn off air conditioning in all unoccupied buildings.
* Outdoor recreational lighting to remain off during summer months.
* Consolidate facilities occupancy.
* Keep unnecessary lighting off, especially in common areas such as lobbies and hallways, and leave artificial light off altogether when natural light is sufficient.
* Maximize lighting efficiency; replace halogen and incandescent lamps with T-8 fluorescent fixtures and electronic ballasts.
* Utilize desk-top fluorescent lamps in place of other room lighting.
* Utilize motion sensors.

Emergency Actions:

When necessary, load reduction throughout The Claremont Colleges will be initiated by telephone contact with each campus, with incremental load reductions as follows:

Emergency Actions, Level I (ISO Stage 1 Emergency)

* Preference loads to be reduced. Maximum compliance with conservation measures outlined above.

Emergency Actions, Level II (ISO Issues 30-Minute Interruption Notice)

* Back-up generators activated
* Critical loads only. Limited academic, administration and support buildings. No air conditioning in residential facilities.

Emergency Actions, Level III (Failure of one or more substation generator)

* Life-safety buildings given first priority (Campus Safety, Baxter Medical)
* Activate individual building and portable generators as requested by each campus.
* Other buildings to come online on priority basis as situation assessed.

QUESTIONS?

* For questions regarding facilities and conservation efforts, contact Tim Lopez at (909) 607-1637.
* For questions regarding employee needs, contact Julia McCallin at (909) 621-8490.
* For general questions and comments about the power situation, and to monitor the latest news and the state’s energy supply grid, visit the CMC website at www.claremontmckenna.edu/powersource.

We appreciate your continued understanding and look forward to hearing from you should you have any questions or concerns.