University of California, Riverside





Most of UCR’s energy needs are met through purchasing electricity from our local municipal utility company, Riverside Public Utilities. In 2010 18% of the electricity generated by RPU came from renewable energy sources. This percentage is expected to grow to 30% by 2020.

UCR has undertaken a variety of energy-efficiency projects in the last five years, including Implementing retro-commissioning on the Science Library and Rivera Library; Installing fume hood occupancy sensors in five laboratory buildings to reduce the air flow velocity at unused hoods; Adding heat recovery at Chemical Sciences by re-circulating the office exhaust air that was originally once-through air; Installing run-around-loop heat recovery at Boyce Hall; Installing an economizer on the central plant’s largest boiler, resulting in an efficiency gain of roughly 35 percent.

In 2007, UCR completed a photovoltaic installation at the James Reserve, a small field research site located 50 miles east of the campus in the San Bernardino National Forest. The installation allows the facility to be taken completely off the grid. The polycrystalline silicon panels produce roughly 74 kWh per day over a yearly average.

A 10 kWh solar pv array, funded by the ASUCR GCAP, is scheduled for installation at the center of campus in Summer 2011. A one MW solar farm located on the West campus is planned to break ground before the end of 2011 with other solar pv and solar thermal projects to follow.

As part of a UC initiative, UCR is developing a laboratory sustainability program to reduce energy waste in our labs and facilities. EH&S and Physical Plant partnered to implement a Shut the Sash campaign.

The Power Rangers, which disbanded in 2014, was a student group dedicated to reducing unnecessary energy consumption on the UCR campus through education and action to save money and improve environmental quality.

In September of 2014, UCR's 3.34 MW 11 acre solar farm began sending 100% renewable energy to the campus grid. It provides 3% of our total annual energy use while costing less than traditional grid utility electricity. It is currently the largest solar farm on any UC campus.

Big Green Box

Did you know

  • In 2008, 79% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions came from the use of coal and petroleum fuels.
  • The United States is the largest producing of wind energy in the world, with Texas leading the way.
  • California has the largest concentrated solar installation in the world.
  • Only about 10% of the energy used in incandescent bulbs goes to producing light, the other 90% is waste heat.
  • Around 80% of the energy used to wash clothes is for heating the water.
  • About 50% of energy generation in the US comes from coal fired power plants.

What you can do:

  • Turn off your lights if you leave the room for more than 30 seconds
  • Light Bulb Experiment
  • Shut down your computer when you leave the office or go to bed
  • Use a power strip to power down electronics to prevent phantom electricity consumption
  • Use min-solar packs for charging phones, iPods and laptops
  • Turn your lights off if there is enough daylight or use task lighting instead overhead lighting when possible
  • Reduce the amount of water you use – water requires electricity for pumps and waste management
  • Recycle


RPU 2014 Power Label

Labs 21






Responsible Consumerism - November

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Office of Sustainability
University Village
1223 University Avenue, Suite 200P

Tel: (951) 827-1270
Fax: (951) 827-3890

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