Improving the Performance Profile of Energy Conservation Measures at the Penn State University Park Campus

Open Access
Kazemi Rad, Melissa
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 27, 2015
Committee Members:
  • David R Riley Ii, Thesis Advisor
  • Energy Efficiency Measures
  • Energy Conservation Measures
  • energy efficiency in buildings
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduction
Conducting energy conservation measures (ECM) in campus buildings is one of the significant steps taken by the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) to contribute to its energy costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) at Penn State has authority to disturb annual investments over these ECM’s, as well as to select different ECM projects and the type of building in which they will be conducted. This office keeps records of the majority of the ECM’s conducted. OPP has certain standards for making decisions about the energy efficiency annual investment portfolio developed from its analyses on ECM’s. However, this study is based on the belief that there will be value added to OPP’s efforts by introducing approaches that would help organize and refine its standards. The study was conducted in three sections: 1. Analyzing the contribution of various building types in which ECM’s were conducted to energy cost saving and GHG emissions reduction. 2. Analyzing cost saving and GHG emissions reduction contribution of each type of ECM by considering the average annual investments made. 3. Estimating the impact on the GHG emissions by upgrading Penn State’s steam plants from firing a mixture of coal and natural gas to natural gas only. These analyses helped identify which types of buildings and ECM’s yielded larger savings and emissions reduction. Using the results of the second and third analyses, a calculator has been developed that enables estimation of cost saving and GHG emissions reduction given any investment distribution strategy among ECM’s. The study demonstrated that calculator based on data from previous years will benefit decision makers in configuring the investment portfolio more wisely.