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As the weather gets hot, practice these tips to conserve energy

by Jun. 13, 2013, 3:33 PM


Temperatures across the South are climbing into the 90s for the first time this summer. As one of the largest energy consumers in Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students are encouraged to do their part to reduce energy consumption on campus and at the medical center.

Slight modifications to energy use patterns can make a large impact when aggregated across the entire university. While particularly important during high heat conditions, conserving energy should be practiced all year.

VU Plant Operations, VUMC Plant Services and the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office ask for your help and cooperation with these conservation efforts.

Here are some things you can do to help reduce energy consumption at Vanderbilt:

  • Moderate thermostat settings to 76-78 degrees. Remember to adjust thermostats in classrooms unoccupied during the summer. Adjust thermostats more radically when you leave for the day or weekend. Dress for the hot weather so you can remain comfortable in more moderate temperatures.
  • Close window shades or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep heat out and cool air in.
  • Turn off lights in your workspace when you leave, even if only for a short period of time. Turning off your lights will save energy if you are gone for more than 30 seconds.
  • Turn off lights to common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, break rooms, classrooms and conference rooms when you leave and especially before leaving for the day. Many of these spaces sit empty the majority of the day.
  • Turn off office equipment. If allowed in your area, computers, printers, copiers, and scanners can be turned off when you leave for the day (or at the end of your work shift if they will not be used again for several hours). Otherwise, activate sleep modes and energy-saving settings. Instructions for modifying power settings can be found on the SustainVU Energy Saving Tips page.
  • In laboratory spaces, close fume hood sashes when not in use.
  • If your office or area seems unusually cold or hot, or you have trouble regulating the temperature, please call VU Plant Operations at 343-9675 or VUMC Plant Services at 322-2041 to let them know.

For additional ways to conserve energy, visit Vanderbilt’s ThinkOne energy conservation website.