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NMSU participates in money-saving energy program offered by El Paso Electric

New Mexico State University stands to save thousands of dollars by participating in the electrical load management program offered by El Paso Electric.


Head and shoulders of a man
Patrick Chavez, director of Utilities and Plant Operations for NMSU’s Facilities and Services, is leading efforts this summer to save the university thousands of dollars by participating in the electrical load management program offered by El Paso Electric. The program provides rebates for customers who are able to modify their energy consumption during strategic times of the day when energy is under high demand. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

The program provides rebates for customers who are able to modify their energy consumption during strategic times of the day when energy is under high demand. NMSU is participating in the program this summer, thanks to efforts led by Patrick Chavez, director of Utilities and Plant Operations for NMSU’s Facilities and Services.

Over the years, NMSU has invested in a centralized energy management system that facilitates the coordination of air conditioning and lighting controls within the buildings.

“Having this level of control allows us to perform immediate energy reductions when called upon by El Paso Electric for an electrical load curtailment event,” Chavez said.

El Paso Electric has defined the electrical demand window as from 1 to 7 p.m. June through September. Chavez said on average, NMSU hosts 10 events within these summer months with each event lasting up to two hours in duration.

“This means that NMSU would reduce the cooling capacity when it receives a curtailment request from El Paso Electric, and you may notice a change in space temperature throughout the two-hour event window,” Chavez said. “Once the two-hour window has elapsed, the cooling systems will return to normal operation.”

Chavez said the system has been configured to exclude research spaces and other critical infrastructure, so space temperatures will not be affected in those areas.

The program runs for five years and has the potential to generate up to $200,000 dollars in rebates for the university over the life of the program. During the first event NMSU participated in June 12, the university reduced 1,500 kilowatts from 3 to 5 p.m., saving roughly enough power to run about 1,000 homes.

To keep up with the campus sustainability accomplishments, visit https://sustainability.nmsu.edu/.