With campus buildings unoccupied or at a low level of use during the summer, it’s a great time to minimize wasted energy and maximize savings!
Q: What’s the easiest way to save energy during summer break?
A: Turn off all lights that are not needed for security.
In a typical school, lighting accounts for 30% of all electricity used. Turning off lights is one of the simplest ways to save energy over a break – even just a long weekend – and everyone can get involved with helping flip the switches.
Q: What consumes the most energy in summer?
A. Cooling demands the greatest energy use.
As with homes, heating and cooling typically demand the greatest use of energy on campus. If only a few rooms of a building are being used during the summer months, try to contain these areas – the whole building does not need to be cooled! (Thermostat temperature and cooling practices should ultimately be determined by the energy or facilities manager.)
Q: What should be done about computers, monitors and related equipment?
A. Turn off computers or put them in sleep mode. Turn off other equipment.
Desktop computers add a significant load to university energy budgets. Turning off one typical computer and monitor over a 7-day break saves $2.70 on average. While this may seem inconsequential, savings add up quickly when multiplied by the number of computers in use on a campus. Visit the Green IT@UT Web site to read about IT conservation initiatives on campus.
Q. Should appliances be turned off?
A. Remove or unplug all unused appliances.
Summer break is a great time to get rid of appliances that aren’t needed. Take home personal items such as mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers—at least for the summer. Even if an appliance is turned off, it still draws a small amount of energy called “phantom load.” While small (usually around 1-5 watts) for each individual appliance, phantom load can quickly add up. Almost any product having an external power supply, remote control, continuous display (including an LED), or that charges batteries, draws power continuously. Plug appliances into a power strip and cut the power off with one switch.