Energy Efficiency at the Technion

In 2007, the forum for energy efficiency was established at the Technion. First, a pilot was carried out in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, which resulted in a significant saving of 15% in the faculty’s electricity consumption. In 2008, the activity was expanded to other faculties, the Faculty of Physics and the Faculty of Computer Science. So far, the energy efficiency project is applied in 13 faculties and another 6 buildings/centers.

Saving energy has always been self-evident, important and necessary, and beyond the significant financial savings for any organization, there is also great importance in saving energy in the aspect of protecting the environment and preventing pollution.
The savings are necessary, but require initiative, creativity, great investment and collective commitment in collaboration with the leading team in each of the participating units.


The cost of the Technion’s energy consumption is about ILS 37 million per year with an annual growth of about 5%, resulting from new construction and natural growth. In 2007, the Technion’s CEO decided to begin an energy efficiency program. To this end, an Energy Efficiency Forum was appointed, currently chaired by Prof. Gershon Elber, which includes Mr. Adi Ben Ari – the Technion’s air conditioning engineer, Mr. Nissan Bohadana – an external project supervisor and Mr. Itzik Romano – the Technion’s electrical engineer.

The purpose of the Forum is to lead to a 25% saving in the Technion’s energy costs. At first, it seemed that such high savings were fantasy, but setting a high goal required special preparation, in-depth tests and was an incentive to create a complex system to achieve these savings.

Budget Model

A necessary condition for achieving significant and especially lasting savings is preparation and implementation of an appropriate budget model. Initially, one budget model was implemented, the main point of which is that the unit is budgeted at 95% of the energy costs of the previous year for joining. If a unit has undertaken to save at least 5% in energy consumption. If the unit saves more than 5% in costs, the balance is transferred to it at the end of the budget year. If the unit fails to save, it will have to pay!

In order to implement the program and reach significant savings, it is necessary to be closely accompanied by the savings forum team, which manages the activity and adds additional units according to the limitations of time resources. In order to increase the savings, the Technion CEO approved the addition of one more budget model that rewards a unit that saves on its own, and there have been two budget models since the beginning of the 2009 academic year, the Fixed Route as described and Beginning of the Road, as below:

Beginning of the Road Fixed Route
  • Reference Point – electricity consumption in the 2008 academic year (*).
  • Reference Point – 95% of electricity consumption in the 2008 academic year (*).
  • Technical Support – no technical support provided from the Forum.
  • Technical Support – the Forum will provide technical support.
  • Remuneration – remuneration on savings, if there are any.
  • Remuneration – difference between actual consumption and the reference pint.

(*) The annual reference point is updated at the end of each year according to the changes in consumption of all the Technion, with the deduction of new construction.



19 faculties and buildings are participating in energy efficiency project:

Electricity, Physics, Computer Science, Civil, Biology, Science Education, Canada Building, Solid State, Ullman, Mathematics and Architecture, Machine Building, Aeronautics, Industry and Management, Asher Institute, Faculty Club, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology & Food, Biomedicine.

Due to September 2021, Total savings in the faculties compared to consumption under the agreement is approximately 20-25%.

Cumulative savings since the beginning of the program in 2007 is ILS 42,832,873.

Remuneration per unit since start of the program until 2020 – ILS 15,771,880.

Saving for the Technion – ILS 27,060,993.

Units’ investments in means of saving – ILS 3,286,051.

Savings in Student Dorms

In addition to the savings activities of the Forum, the Technion has been carrying out another savings activity for the past seven years in the student dormitories at the Technion. A heating system is installed in the dorms for heating and supplying hot water to the showers, which provides a lot of energy without the residents paying for this, which causes a lot of energy wastage. The Technion began to gradually replace the heating systems in the dorms with air conditioners, so that it can be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. A unique computerized metering system was installed in the apartments that have AC, to read meters remotely, while charging the students monthly for energy consumption – the students pay the apartment electricity bills. The system is currently installed in about 650 housing units out of about 1400. Energy consumption has decreased significantly and by using the system, the Technion saves over three million shekels each year.

Rules for Success of the Savings Plan

The above impressive achievements in savings require the correct combination of the following rules:

  1. Support of senior management in the savings plan.
  2. Professional analysis of energy consumption.
  3. Tailor made solution for each unit.
  4. Preventing investments that do not meet ROI targets.
  5. Implementation of a budget model, leading to continuous savings.

Examples of the Project’s Implementation in the Faculties:

Faculty of Electricity:

  • Operation of cooling units stopped at night (from 22:00 until 06:00 in the morning) and on the weekends.
  • Cooling temperature of the water increased from 6 degrees to 10-11 degrees during transition seasons.
  • Detectors installed in the underground parking lot, to shut off lighting.
  • Air conditioning fields of 4 floors out of 12 disconnected at fixed times.
  • Detectors installed in classrooms to shut off air conditioners and lighting.
  • Timed shut off in public areas.

Faculty of Computer Science:

  • Operation of fresh air system at maximum speed overnight to cool the building’s thermal mass, during transition seasons, when the temperature outside is lower than 22 degrees.
  • Personal computers set to Sleep / Hibernate.
  • Detectors installed in laboratories, with a division into 3 areas.
  • Energy center switched off at night and on weekends
  • 1/3-2/3 hallways switched off according to schedule.
  • Voltage in high voltage transformers decreased.
  • Detectors in rooms for switching off lighting and air conditioning operated.

Faculty of Physics:

  • Computerized software and timers installed for disconnecting AC fields by schedule.
  • Split air conditioner software replaced (to prevent automatic restart).
  • 11 speed regulators installed in air handling units for public spaces that operate most of the year.
  • Air screen installed at the entrance to the main building.
  • Expansion of EIB infrastructure.
  • CP4 for switching off split air conditioners installed.
  • Network voltage in high voltage transformer reduced.
  • Corridors 1/3-2/3 shut off according to schedule.
  • Recurring investments to deepen savings.

Machine Building:

  • Dedicated detectors and controllers installed, to turn off lighting in offices and public spaces.
  • T5 light bulbs installed throughout the building.
  • Separation of areas (lighting and air conditioning) in the library, study center and more.
  • “Ice” tanks for energy storage assembled.
  • Installation of a system to collect air conditioner water.

On this occasion, thanks and appreciation go to the units participating in the energy efficiency program at the Technion, for doing their best for success of the process, for the achievements and faith in a way that is not easy, but has a just and noble goal.

Saving is a matter of economy, however, protecting the environment is a supreme goal!

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