Winter Break Energy Savings Rise

Over winter break hundreds of NC State campus buildings collectively avoided more than $389,000 in energy costs through the university’s annual Holiday Energy Saving Initiative.

This year’s savings are the highest since 2015.

The Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is designed to reduce utility costs while most campus buildings are unoccupied for up to 12 consecutive days.

Energy Management facilitates the campus-wide conservation effort to adjust thermostat temperature setpoints, unplug electronics, close doors and windows, and reduce lighting in buildings and parking garages. Even buildings exempt from temperature reduction – due to existing events or temperature-sensitive research and equipment – contribute to utility savings through lighting reductions or partial setbacks.

The savings initiative began in 2004 and has achieved more than $4 million in cumulative energy savings.

“We estimate actual savings are even greater,” said Kerby Smithson, an energy program coordinator. “By incorporating phased levels of setbacks, today we are saving energy for more days than the 2005 baseline year that’s used to calculate savings.”

This year’s mild weather also contributed to the uptick in savings.

The Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is one of campus’ most visible energy-saving programs, though 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

For more energy-saving tips, visit