Winter Break Generates Energy Savings

While campus was unoccupied during winter break, hundreds of NC State buildings collectively avoided $380,000 in energy costs through the university’s annual Holiday Energy Saving Initiative.

Energy savings this year were also aided by relatively mild weather during the break. 

NC State’s Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is designed to reduce utility costs while most buildings on campus are unoccupied for up to 12 consecutive days. This year’s savings are the second highest the university has seen since 2015, second only to last year’s initiative which saved more than $389,000. 

“Dollar savings were high this year partly because it was the first time we’ve had the Centennial Campus Utility Plant combustion turbine generator operating during winter break,” said Kerby Smithson of NC State Energy Management.

The campus-wide energy savings initiative is led by Energy Management every year.  Energy conservation measures utilized include lowering building temperature setpoints, turning off unnecessary lights and equipment, and closing doors and windows to reduce utility consumption. 

The savings initiative began in 2004 and has saved nearly $4.5 million in cumulative energy savings. 

The Holiday Energy Saving Initiative is one of the university’s 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