A new $2.5 million California Energy Commission grant will enable Pomona College to more precisely monitor and adjust energy use in key buildings, leading to energy savings expected to exceed 20 percent. 

The three-year project will enhance existing energy management systems for 10 buildings on the Pomona College campus thanks to a partnership with MelRok, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Zero Net Energy Alliance, the Digital Media Center and Energy + Environmental Economics.

The grant will provide for additional occupancy sensors and automated controls as well as optimization of air circulation, lights and thermostats through the use of the Melrok platform. Upon completion of the grant, this technology will then be deployed on other campus buildings.

“Energy efficiency and managed building operations are an important element of Pomona’s sustainability plan,” says David W. Oxtoby, president of Pomona College. “With projected energy savings of more than 20 percent, the project will help the College advance toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.”

The Pomona College buildings to be part of the project include Smith Campus Center, Thatcher Music Hall, J.C. Cowart IT Building, Seeley G. Mudd Building, Alexander Hall, Hahn Hall, Mason Hall, Pearsons Hall, Carnegie Hall and Crookshank Hall. 

“We want to learn as much as possible from this project so more educational and corporate facilities can apply the technology in the future,” says Anne Eisele, director of project and energy management at Pomona. “This grant not only has direct implications in energy savings and environmental benefits at Pomona College, but also applies statewide and beyond.”

Other awardees of the state grant include projects from the New Buildings Institute and California State University, Long Beach.