Energy Usage

It is predicted that global energy demand may double by the year 2050. Energy consumption has far reaching effects on the environment and on our health. Consequently, Pepperdine continues to maximize energy efficiency. Dating back to 1986, Pepperdine has regularly evaluated the Malibu campus for ways to reduce overall energy consumption. The resulting policy and operational changes have conserved energy throughout the campus. This represents one of the more challenging aspects of sustainability as energy consumption connects in some way with all of our sustainability practices and campus operations from transportation, to our current construction projects, to our food and water consumption.

Energy Management System

Pepperdine utilizes an Energy Management System (EMS) to control most of the HVAC equipment, some lighting on campus, and to monitor our waste water flow station. Pepperdine can monitor and make adjustments to equipment by any computer on or off campus. The EMS incorporates energy saving techniques which include:

  • Turning the equipment on and off by using schedules
  • Variable cooling and heating setpoints, based on temperature conditions
  • Variable air handler static supply air pressure, based on building requirements
  • Turning chillers and boilers off when not needed, to maintain temperature setpoints
  • Using air handler economizers to maintain temperature setpoints when possible

The EMS gives Pepperdine the ability to monitor and make changes quickly and keep our students, faculty, and staff in as much comfort as possible while minimizing the amount of energy used. The EMS also provides troubleshooting capabilities so that most problems can be analyzed and corrected quickly.

Alternative Energy

Through Southern California Edison, 20% of our electricity comes from renewable resources.  The renewable energies are derived from five sources, which include 41% wind, 44% geothermal, 7% solar, 4% biomass, and 4% small hydro. The University's endowment is also invested in renewable energy funds.


Lighting within an environment has profound effects on health, safety, morale, comfort, and productivity. It is imperative that we provide good light quantity and quality while also conserving energy. Currently, 99% of all lighting on the Malibu campus is energy efficient. A campus wide lighting audit in 2002 resulted in of the following changes, which are representative of the types of measures implemented around campus:

  • Replacement of most incandescent bulbs with fluorescents
  • Installation of electronic timers to turn off lights when buildings are not in use
  • Installation of motion sensors to light rarely used areas
  • Use of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights, which are highly efficient and last, on average, for 50,000 hours.

The 2002 lighting audit alone resulted in the annual conservation of over 325,000 kilowatt hours. The savings would power about 37 houses for an entire year.

Outdoor LED Fixtures

As part of the campus life project, all the outdoor globe lighting will be replaced with high-efficiency LED lighting over the next few years. The LED lighting uses half the energy of fluorescent and lasts six times longer. The downward-facing LED lights will also significantly reduce Pepperdine's sky glow, thereby diminishing our contribution to light pollution.


Web Feedback