NC State’s Winter Break Energy Savings Top $288,000

winter-holidayNC State University students, faculty and staff pulled the plug, hit the switch and saved the university $288,590 in avoided energy costs during winter break, Dec. 21, 2013 – Jan. 1, 2014.

A campus-wide energy conservation program facilitated by NC State’s Energy Management Office, the Winter Holiday Energy Saving Initiative reduces energy use by lowering building thermostat temperatures in unoccupied campus buildings to around 65°F. Also, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to turn off lights and office equipment, close doors and windows, and unplug all unnecessary electronics before leaving for winter break. These efforts generated $24,049 of savings per day during winter break for a total of nearly $2.5 million since the program launched in 2004.

This year funds saved through the program are more important than ever.  Among the budget cuts NC State received this fiscal year is a $1.58 million reduction to the campus utility budget.

“A budget reduction of this size is significant and, coupled with record-setting low temperatures this winter, has created a vital need for campus energy and water conservation. We’re asking for every student, faculty and staff member to help save energy and water on campus,” said Jack Colby, NC State’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Operations.

To avoid a budget shortfall, students, faculty and staff are urged do the following, particularly through June 30:

  • Turn off and unplug office equipment and appliances that are not vital or not in use
  • Ensure all exterior windows and doors are closed
  • 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
  • Turn off the tap when water is not in use
  • Report water leaks to 515-2991 or

For more energy-saving tips, visit

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