PG&E Demand Response Program

Saint Mary's works with PG&E Demand Response Program to reduce demands on the Bay Area's power grid

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.

During the summer months (May – October), PG&E relies on some of its customers to reduce the energy draw on the Bay Area's power grid. 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. The demand response program was developed to help reduce a brown-out or black-out scenario on campus and in the surrounding areas.

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.

Demand Response Details:

At 3:00 pm Saint Mary’s will assist PG&E by reducing energy consumption a minimum of 500 kilowatts by adjusting thermostats up (approximately 3-5 degrees) in campus buildings. Facilities staff monitors the HVAC systems to ensure the temperatures in SMC buildings do not rise higher than 80 degrees.

Supervisors may 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 when 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.

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.

The College appreciates your cooperation and understanding as it assists PG&E during these infrequent but important demand response circumstances.