Post contributed by Utilities and Energy Department Staff at Auburn University
The 2015 Auburn University holiday break is almost here. It is an exciting time of the year as faculty, staff and students put finishing touches on class projects and travel plans. As campus begins to shift focus from classwork to time off, the Utilities and Energy Department within Facilities Management asks for your help in reducing energy consumption and water use during the break.
In an effort to reduce energy usage, emissions and costs during this time, Utilities and Energy will remotely turn heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in 30 percent of campus buildings to “unoccupied mode.” While in this mode, a building’s ventilation is slowed and thermostats are adjusted to energy-saving settings. The department also remotely turns off lights in 6 percent of campus buildings.
In addition, a wireless meter reading system allows the department to monitor water usage in buildings to check for water leaks and make any repairs as quickly as possible.
Since Utilities and Energy cannot remotely control all campus buildings, they need your help to reduce energy consumption. Before leaving your dorm room or office for vacation, take these simple steps that can make a big difference:
- Turn off and unplug unnecessary appliances. This includes copiers, computers, printers, televisions, fax machines, radios, task lighting, space heaters and coffeemakers. Plug loads account for 25 percent of the annual electrical consumption on campus. If all plug loads were off for two weeks, it was save the university more than $130,000.
- Turn off the lights in dorm rooms, individual offices or shared areas such as conference rooms, break rooms and classrooms. Lighting accounts for 20 percent of the annual electrical consumption on campus. If all lights were turned off on campus for two weeks, it would save the university more than $100,000.
- Close curtains and lower blinds to help reduce heat loss.
- Make sure all faucets are off.
- Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.
- Report problems such as water leaks and open windows or doors that cannot be closed. The Facilities Management Non-Emergency Work Order webpage contains information on how to report these issues.
Adopting these simple energy-saving habits will help reduce energy consumption, save money and lower the university’s carbon footprint.
Thank you for using energy wisely!