Contributed on behalf of Richard Couture, Associate Vice-President, Office of Facilities
In these fiscally challenging times it is more important than ever to manage operating budgets wisely.
Ithaca College employees can contribute to cost-savings measures that are relatively painless, but will help the college save significant and expensive resources -- energy. By reducing energy consumption, we can avoid shifting precious resources into the energy budget.
The following ten energy-saving tips are offered by Michelle Jones, Ithaca College's Energy Manager, to help reduce energy consumption at Ithaca College.
1) Lights Out:
Turn off lights in any room when lights are no longer needed. Lighting accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of total energy use; when multiplied by the number of users, the potential for waste is enormous. Make the most of natural daylight, replace incandescent bulbs in task lighting with CFL's (incandescent are the cheapest but least efficient light source), use task lighting [with CFL's] where possible rather than general overhead lighting, use overhead fluorescent lighting only when needed. Be proactive; use day-light where ever possible, turn off lights whenever they are not needed. If bi-level switching or dimmers are available, use the lowest setting that meets your need.
2) Computers, Photocopiers, and Printers:
Turn off computers, monitors, speakers, printers and photocopiers when you leave your office at the end of every day. During the day, turn off your computer monitor when you leave your desk for more than a few minutes. Monitors are the most energy intensive piece of a personal computer and its accessory equipment. This recommendation applies to all computers and monitors, but is especially important if you use an older CRT monitor or the new, large LCD monitors. If you must leave your computer on for off-campus access, use the power management built in to your operating system (Windows: Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Power Options; Mac: System Preferences > Energy Saver) to automatically reduce energy use. There are over 3,600 computers for faculty, staff, and computer labs at IC. If each were turned off, or powered down during non-use periods, the potential for significant savings exists. Or, use a laptop: a typical laptop computer has a power consumption of 30 watts. A typical desktop PC, with conventional display, consumes about 5 times as much. Printers are typically left on for extended periods of time but are active only for a small percentage of that time. This means conventional printers can waste a significant amount of energy. Laser printers consume the most energy. Only turn on the printer when you need to print, then turn it back off. When purchasing, select a printer with power management capabilities. Printers with automatic "power down" features can reduce electricity use by over 65 percent. Consider the energy consumption increase when you add equipment, purchase additional equipment only if absolutely necessary.
Ithaca College has many different heating and cooling systems with standardized heating and cooling set points per season. Winter set point range [usually between Oct – Apr] is between 69 – 71 degrees F. Summertime set point range [May – Sept] is between 74 – 76 degrees F. During non-use periods, Facilities makes customized adjustments to most buildings' heating and cooling systems to reduce energy use as much as possible.
4) Space Heaters:
Space heaters are prohibited by policy. Standard electric space heaters consume 1500 watts at their typical highest setting; that's essentially the energy footprint of 10 desktop computers with monitors. Keep in mind that any costs associated with the operation of space heaters will lessen the amount saved through our HVAC setback policy. Buildings are setback during night time hours and automatically begin raising the temperature for day time operations about 1 – 1.5 hours before employees arrive. While the building may seem cool when you first arrive in the morning, this nightly setback saves the college significant energy.
Turn off coffee pots and similar appliances when they are not in use. A typical coffee pot costs 4 cents per use and another 4 cents per hour to keep the coffee warm. Use the department break room refrigerator rather than bringing in a personal refrigerator for your office. Reduce the number of plug-in appliances in your office to only those necessary to complete your job tasks. Use your computer for radio, clock and video functions rather than having all of those individual appliances plugged in.
6) Personal Dress:
Wear clothing appropriate to the season and weather -- lightweight clothing in summer and warmer clothing in winter. Wear layers so you can adapt to varying conditions in your workspace and still be comfortable.
7) Windows & Doors:
In winter, drapes or blinds should be open when windows are in direct sunlight or you are using the daylight, and closed otherwise. During summer, close drapes or blinds early in the morning to prevent direct sunlight from entering the room. Try not to use windows for temperature control. If you find yourself affected by thermal heat gain, consider your work space; can you move your workstation away from the windows? Use manual doors where available. External doors should not be propped open and should always close and latch behind you. Internal doors can help maintain the proper temperature in your office. Try closing your door if your office is too hot or too cold.
Conserve water wherever possible. Don't turn your back on a running faucet, use cold water rather than hot water when possible, learn how to properly use dual-flush toilets, drink tap water rather than purchased bottled water, fill a glass/reusable container with water rather than using a drinking fountain.
9) Exhaust Fans:
Significant savings can be achieved by closing laboratory fume hood doors whenever the hood is not being used (and whenever possible, even during use). Turn off area exhaust fans when they are not needed in dining halls, dust collection systems, or non-chemical labs.
Enter a Maintenance Service Request if: you see problems with door operations; your work area is overheated in the winter or over-cooled in summer. Do not habitually open a window to get rid of excess heat in the winter or to release cooling in the summer.
For more detail on campus energy consumptions visit the Utilities and Energy Management Section of the Office of Facilities homepage or call Michelle Jones at 274-3769.