Saint Mary's participates in the PG&E Demand Response Program to assist with reducing the engery draw on the Bay Area's power grid. Demand Response Alerts as well as the program details are contained on this page.
All operations are currently normal - no Demand Response currently in effect.
Demand Response Overview:
As a result of the high temperatures in California, a Demand Response Alert may be issued by PG&E to Saint Mary's College to assist the company in reducing the energy draw on the Bay Area's power grid.
During the summer months (May – October), PG&E relies on some of its commercial customers to assist with reducing the energy draw on the Bay Area's power grid. Saint Mary’s is one of several institutions that participate in PG&E's Demand Response program and in exchange for lower energy costs to the College, the school assists the effort by curtailing energy consumption on the campus when requested by PG&E.
A demand response generally occurs in the late afternoon, a peak period for energy consumption, and runs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. However, on occasion, the time frame could be extended to 7:00 pm.
PG&E only issues a demand response when it is necessary to protect the power grid.
The demand response program was developed to help reduce a brown-out or black-out scenario on campus and in the surrounding areas.
Demand Response Details:
At 3:00 pm Saint Mary’s will assist PG&E by contractually reducing energy consumption by a minimum of 500 kilowatts by adjusting thermostats in campus buildings. At most, buildings stay within a 6 degree difference. Facilities staff monitors the HVAC systems to ensure the temperatures in SMC buildings do not rise higher than 80 degrees.
In some cases, where buildings cannot be remotely controlled by our computer system, the HVAC systems are completely shut down. Those buildings are currently Ageno East, Ageno West and the six lower townhouse buildings, Freitas, Guerrieri East, Guerrieri West, Sabatte, Syufy, Thille.
Supervisors may at their own discretion elect to make alternative work plans for employees working in buildings where the temperature exceeds 80 degrees. Alternative work plans may involve sending employees home, having them work in other buildings where temperatures are more moderate or having them work remotely. Supervisors are also encouraged to monitor employees who are working in buildings where temperatures are excessive and encourage them to keep hydrated and have plenty of liquids on hand. Additional guidance regarding alternative work plans is available through Human Resources.
The College appreciates your cooperation and understanding as it assists PG&E during these infrequent but important demand response circumstances.