Why Conserve Energy?
Individual students, faculty and staff members play a vital role in the success of CU-Boulder's energy conservation campaign. Energy conservation has been called the "least-cost" energy strategy, and for good reason. Energy conservation does more than just save money and jobs. It reduces environmental and social costs as well.
Energy conservation mitigates the numerous adverse environmental and social impacts associated with energy production and consumption. These include air pollution, acid rain and global warming, oil spills and water pollution, loss of wilderness areas, construction of new power plants, foreign energy dependence, and the risk of international conflict over energy supplies.
What You Can Do to Conserve Energy
While Facilities Management staff employ technology and energy management strategies to reduce energy use, all students, faculty, and staff can take the following actions to conserve energy:
Turn off the lights!
- Turn off the lights in classrooms, offices or restrooms when the rooms are not being occupied.
- Offices with dual light controls are asked to turn half the lights off.
- When leaving for lunch or an appointment, turn off lights and any other small appliances in individual offices.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Use natural day light, instead of electrical lighting, when you can.
- Look for opportunities to reduce lighting levels in areas that seem to be over lighted (without creating safety or security problems).
- Use flat-screen LCD monitors rather than CRT monitors. They use less energy.
- Do not turn on the printer until you are ready to print. Printers consume energy even while idle.
- Do not print out copies of e-mail or other documents unless necessary.
- Purchase equipment with the "Energy Star" logo.
- Implement paper reducing strategies such as double sided printing as a default.
- Use e-mail instead of sending memos and faxing documents.
- Use central departmental coffee makers and refrigerators instead of personal units.
- Eliminate personal energy consuming items such as fish tanks, decorative lighting, etc.
- Do not use electrical space heaters. They can overload circuits; they are a fire hazard; and they are "energy hogs" - one electric space heater uses as much electricity as 45 fluorescent light fixtures!
Little things mean a lot!
- Where you have control of your thermostat, set the heating set point no greater than 68 degrees and cooling to no less than 74 degrees.
- Use blinds to control solar heat gains.
- Make sure all heating and air conditioning systems under your control are turned off every night and every weekend.
- Dress appropriately for the seasons and the comfort level of your work area. Keep a sweater in your office instead of adjusting the thermostat.
- If you use a building after-hours or on weekends, do not expect the heating/cooling systems to be in full operation.
- Keep doors closed in air conditioned and heated areas.
- Use automatic door switches for handicap use only.
- Avoid using elevators; take the stairs.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you'll save up to 150 gallons per month.
It's Up to You!
Trying to reduce energy costs should be a concern to all members of the CU-Boulder community. As an educational and research institution serving a worldwide clientele, we should set an example of conscientious and cost-effective use of non-renewable energy resources. These simple suggestions may not seem significant by themselves but, with everyone's participation, they can make a big difference.