Time to shutdown electronics, turn down thermostats


With just a few preventative measures, faculty and staff can help the university save energy and reduce costs during the holiday shutdown, Dec. 24 to Jan. 3.

"Everything that can be manually shut off should be," said Kirk Conger, energy projects manager with UNL Building Systems Maintenance.

All lights, fans, appliances, computers, printers, monitors and copiers should be turned off during the shutdown. In recent years, these procedures have helped cut energy use in UNL's academic buildings to save at least $25,000 per year.

Although UNL has a central control system that can regulate temperatures in certain areas of campus, temperatures in older buildings with manual thermostats need to be controlled by individuals.

Thermostats should be set back to 60 or 65 during the shutdown. Also, make sure all windows are sealed and locked with the curtains or blinds closed.

Conger said that maintaining building safety is an important reason for faculty and staff to follow these shutdown procedures.

"These buildings are largely abandoned for 8 or 10 days," he said. "Little stuff (like) turning off lights, closing drapes and unplugging chargers can't be controlled from a central location."

A complete list of what to do as you leave your office or building for the holidays to help UNL save money:

- Turn off all lights, fans, appliances, computers, printers, monitors, copiers, etc.

- Make sure windows and doors are locked.

- Close window blinds or drapes.

- If you have a manual thermostat, set it to 65 or less.

- Turn off lab equipment and close fume hood sashes.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning systems will be brought out of "hibernation" Jan. 2 to ensure that room temperatures have warmed sufficiently before the campus community returns for regular operations Jan. 3.

- Mekita Rivas, University Communications