Winter Break Energy Savings Top $400,000

Buildings across NC State’s Raleigh campus avoided $416,000 in energy costs over the university’s winter break through the annual Holiday Energy Saving Initiative.

This initiative is a collaboration coordinated by Energy Management and implemented by Building Maintenance and Operations. Since its start in 2004, the program has saved over $5 million in energy costs. This year marks the highest energy savings and the third highest dollar savings on record.

The Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is designed to reduce utility costs while most campus buildings are unoccupied over winter break. Campus-wide efforts include adjusting thermostat temperature setpoints, unplugging electronics not in use, closing doors and windows, and reducing lighting in university buildings and parking garages. Even buildings exempt from the temperature setbacks, due to existing events or temperature-sensitive research and equipment, contribute to utility savings through lighting reductions or partial setbacks.

“This year’s warmer weather over winter break contributed to higher energy savings,” said Energy Project Manager Kerby Smithson. “But like always, it’s the collective efforts of the university community that make the biggest difference in the amount of utility cost avoided – from the employees who implement energy-saving measures in buildings to the members of the campus community who adjust to buildings with slightly colder temperatures. This is a true campus-wide effort.”

While the Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is one of the university’s most visible energy-saving programs, opportunities to save energy exist year-round for NC State students, faculty and staff. Some of the most effective ways to contribute toward campus energy efficiency include:

  • Turn off and unplug office equipment and appliances that are not vital or not in use
  • Close all exterior windows and doors
  • Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use
  • Shut off all space heaters
  • In labs, shut fume hood sashes when not actively working at the hood