University of California, San Diego


January 26, 2001


SUBJECT:  UCSD and the Energy Crisis

As you know, the State of California is experiencing the most severe energy crisis in its history. The crisis stems from a combination of electricity deregulation, soaring natural gas prices, a rising energy demand and a diminished supply of resources in California.

As a major energy user, UCSD will continue to be severely impacted by this crisis. While we have avoided power outages to date, this crisis is projected to continue for several months, during which the threat of an outage will remain. We have taken, and will continue to take, major precautions to minimize the impact of energy shortages on critical research, teaching, patient care and residential areas.

Governor Davis has issued a mandate that state universities must cut their energy usage this year by 8%. Although the campus has a wide range of energy conservation programs in place, these efforts will need to be substantially augmented, both in the short and long term, in order to meet that mandate.

I realize that there are numerous efforts underway throughout the campus to help conserve energy. I greatly appreciate these conservation efforts, and encourage all UCSD employees and students to join in such efforts so that we not only comply with the Governor's mandate but also lessen the financial impact of this crisis on the university.

While UCSD has avoided higher than average electricity prices over the past six months, due to a long-term contract with our energy provider, the escalation of natural gas prices will have a severe impact on our energy budget. However, significant, campuswide conservation efforts can lessen this impact.

We realize that each segment of the university community - from lab researchers and patient care technicians to librarians and building managers - has distinct energy needs and concerns relative to conservation. In the coming weeks, a UCSD Energy Task Force will provide web-based, print and in-person tailored information about how each of us can introduce energy conservation methods into our work and living areas.

For immediate questions, contact Jack Hug, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Auxiliary and Plant Services, at jhug@ucsd.edu

Again, I greatly appreciate your continued energy conservation efforts, and your patience in this difficult time.

                                                Robert C. Dynes