June 1, 2001


Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to share with you the news that Southern California Edison has approved our request to classify UCSB as an “essential” customer. This will exempt the campus from controlled rotating power outages, or “rolling blackouts”.  Essential customers are defined as those entities that provide a service necessary for the public health, safety, or welfare, following the newly adopted priority list provided by the California Public Utilities Commission. Naturally we are pleased with this decision by Southern California Edison.

Our classification as an essential customer compels us to promote the campus as an exemplar of best practices in energy conservation.  Generation, stabilization, and conservation are the keys to solving this serious problem. Our comprehensive campus efforts to conserve electricity will not only continue but also be stepped up as a result of
the Edison decision. By giving some predictability to our power supply, this decision allows us to focus even more attention on reducing our electricity use. We have already made significant progress in this area, and we are now conducting extensive tests on campus aimed at identifying how much more power we can save during particular times of day. Those efforts will continue, and their findings will help shape our continuing conservation efforts.

Our new energy-conserving building for the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management will receive a gold certificate for its “greening.” Our faculty’s research on the new white light emitting diodes (LED) technology for next-generation lighting will contribute to long-term energy conservation. These are just a few examples of how UCSB is contributing to efforts to generate and conserve energy, while President Atkinson is providing leadership for similar system-wide efforts.

We want to emphasize both to our campus and to the community that we need to do more than our fair share. Thanks to all of you for your tremendous efforts not only in conserving campus electricity, but also in advancing research on electricity generation and conservation. As Governor Davis said, “We have a power outage, but we are far from powerless. We are 34 million strong, and if each of us does our part, we can minimize disruptions and get through the summer.”


Henry T. Yang                            Richard Watts
Chancellor                                Chair, Academic Senate