University City High School Retrofit

Square Feet: 874,713 | Savings: 36+% on gas bills | 13+% on electric bills |

UCSD’s ten schools and administrative buildings received energy efficiency audits, and the district converted boilers from steam to hot water, renovated piping, improved insulation, installed controls on mechanical equipment, upgraded lighting, and had a targeted replacement of windows.


The University City School Board mandated a focus on energy conservation, due to budget considerations. The school district sought an energy audit from ERG that recommended $6.4 MM in projects. A state energy loan provided $4.65 MM and district bonds financed $2.4 MM.

ERG’s designs resulted in 8 bid packages, with ERG and the District working together to provide construction management services. Total actual costs were 97% of original estimates.

ERG moved the District from steam to hot water boilers. This resulted in higher efficiencies, lower maintenance (reducing water testing, blow down, chemical treatment and trap maintenance) and better comfort.

Building envelopes were modified to secure optimal savings. Compromised insulation was rectified, and more energy efficient windows were installed in select locations.

A web based control system with central monitoring was installed for major pieces of equipment. Now, equipment operates based on space temperature and occupancy requirements. District personnel can manage the system from any computer. This allows for more effective maintenance programs and a substantial reduction of runtime hours.

ERG managed a comprehensive overhaul of the District’s lighting systems. Incandescents were replaced with fluorescent fixtures, lumen maintenance and daylight dimming ballasts were paired with new T8 fixtures, and occupancy sensors were installed. It’s estimated that ~ 40% of previous lighting energy usage will be saved.

The project achieved 36% savings on gas and 13% on electric district-wide even before the lighting retrofit had been completed. The improved lighting systems would yield an additional 40% savings on lighting energy usage.

Annual savings were on the order of $250,000+ for natural gas and $150,000+ for electricity.

ERG is proud to go the extra mile in supporting the district’s conservation efforts. ERG provided matching funds to Ameren UE to set up demonstration photovoltaic panels at the middle school. In addition to providing renewable energy, real time readings from the panel will provide educational opportunities for the district and its students.

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