On-Demand Efficiency for Campus Housing (ODECH) Program

April 5, 2016

Many campus dorms rely on central hot water systems serviced by inefficient, continuously running pumps, wasting gas, increasing energy usage and reducing the life of the entire water distribution system.  Recognizing the significant savings opportunity, the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) designed a program called On-Demand Efficiency for Campus Housing (ODECH) that was FREE to qualifying SoCalGas customers.

The program provided a free on-demand recirculation pump control for the dorm’s water heating system, as well as free installation. After the pump control was installed, recirculation was controlled based on demand in the dorm, rather than continuous recirculation. Students could access hot water just as easily as if the system were running all day, every day. Depending upon the size of the building and the number of dorm rooms, the gas and electrical savings can be considerable. The controller even helps reduce greenhouse gases. The ODECH program has served several housing communities including UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Vanguard, and Chapman. At the conclusion of the program, more than 50 campus buildings, equaling over 6,500 dorm rooms have received the upgrade.

The Benningfield Group worked with manufacturers, distributors and contractors throughout the SoCalGas territory to administer the program. We also created a custom, online tracking database that allowed us to track status, create reports, monitor inspections and store data relating to program sites and gas savings, ensuring that quality and efficiency are conducted at every stage of the program.  The colleges who have taken advantage of the ODECH program have reported considerable savings since beginning the program.