It’s That Time of Year Again – Individual Office Audits

09/10/2012

Contributed by Michelle Jones

Individual office audits in Office and Academic buildings will take place between September 13th and October 30th this semester.

About half of the buildings are done in the fall semester and the other half are done in the spring semester. This will be the third year that individual office audits take place. The purpose of the audit is to calculate the growth in plug load and the amount of energy that could be saved if office equipment were turned off every night and over weekends.

Individual office audits over the past 3 years indicate than we are saving energy by turning off more equipment than we did in 2010. In 2010 over 50% of CPU’s, 85% of monitors, and nearly 96% of office printers were left on each night and over weekends by faculty and staff. An estimated total of $50,000/year could be saved. Last year we saw a significant improvement. On average only 33% of CPU’s and 72% of monitors were left on. Ithaca College saved approximately $15,000. last year by turning off more office equipment each night. By continuing the campus-wide campaign to turn off office equipment the college could save that additional $35,000./year.

Energy audits have also shown an increase in the number of electrical appliances in offices. In 2010 very few offices had more than one monitor, in 2012 many offices had two and  sometimes three monitors and the majority of them were being left on. Plug load in offices has increased by 30% in the past three years. This growth is mostly due to the addition of extra monitors, large wall-mounted flat screen monitors, or small personal refrigerators per office.

Did you know that a computer monitor is more energy intensive than the CPU, the speakers, or other ancilliary equipment? So in addition to turning off all office equipment each night and on weekends, additional savings could be realized by turning off your monitor during the day when you leave your office for lunch, meetings, class, or breaks. It doesn’t take but a second to hit the power button on your monitor to turn it off when you leave and it turns back on instantly when you power it back on upon your return. Don’t turn your printer on each morning and let it sit the majority of the day not being used. Only turn on your printer when you need to print something and then turn it right off again.

Wonder what an office energy audit includes? Go to the Office of Facilities Homepage and click on the Utility and Energy Management section. You may look at the Office Audit Checklists to see what is included in the audit. Coming soon, a short Youtube video on the process!

Students aren’t being left out. They have undertaken Residence Hall Energy Competitions for the past 3 years. In addition to the competitions, residence hall workshops, student organization presentations, poster and twitter communication events occur to educate students on energy conservation too!

It just makes sense! Many of us are energy concientious at home, when we are responsible for the bill. Office audits are just one way the college looks to conserve energy. Please be as concientious here at the college so valuable budget resources aren’t wasted by unneccessary electrical usage.

If you have any questions about the audit process or energy conservation tips, please feel free to contact Michelle Jones, Ithaca College Energy Manager at 4-3769 or via email mjones@ithaca.edu.

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