Rice University has partnered in load-sharing programs with Center-Point Energy (Energy Share) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), in an effort to reduce the possibility of area-wide brownouts and blackouts during summer months. ERCOT partially manages these voluntary programs to temporarily reduce energy consumption. Thus reducing the electrical drain of the system-wide capacity during critical periods. Rice has successfully participated in this program for approximately a decade with outstanding results, including meaningful offsets of campus utility costs. Every summer the load-sharing program will be in place from June 1 through September 30.
The occurrence of Load-Sharing Events:
The program is referred to as a Level 3 event and is initiated by ERCOT. A Level 3 event will last a maximum of four (4) hours and can occur at any time within 24 hours, seven days a week. Email notifications of an event will be sent to the campus as soon as possible (usually 30 minutes prior to the event beginning) and only when the event is scheduled during university hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
How can you help?
When you receive a notification that a load-sharing event is in effect, please do the following:
- Turn off lights in offices, conference rooms, and break rooms
- Turn off discretionary appliances (unused computers, coffee makers, etc…)
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed and ensure all temperature settings are within administrative guidelines (74°-78° degrees)
Air conditioning will be setback for brief periods of time in all areas not designated as research or laboratory usage. Research and lab buildings, as well as the BioScience Research Center, The Rice Children's Campus, Graduate Housing, offices in the IBC building, and the Greenbriar building, will be unaffected
The university will fully participate in this program and, from time-to-time, will partner with ERCOT to perform testing. This testing will make sure that the university can appropriately respond to ERCOT's requests and will appear as an actual Level 3 load-sharing event to the campus.