Winter Break Generates Energy Savings

Buildings across campus dialed back temperatures and implemented other energy-saving measures for this year’s Holiday Energy Savings Initiative (HESI). Resulting in $478,830 in avoided energy costs, this collaboration is coordinated annually by Energy Management and implemented by Building Maintenance and Operations. Since its start in 2004, the program has generated more than $6 million in avoided energy costs.

NC State’s Holiday Energy Savings Initiative is designed to reduce utility costs while most campus buildings are unoccupied over winter break. Even buildings exempt from temperature setbacks, due to existing events or temperature-sensitive research and equipment, contribute to utility savings through lighting reductions or partial setbacks.

“The almost $479,000 in avoided costs is the highest amount since HESI was started,” said Julie Snead, engineer for Energy Management. “This [result] was helped significantly by the mild temperatures during winter break.”

While the Holiday Energy Savings 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

Snead notes that as the campus becomes more and more efficient, avoided energy costs are harder to obtain.

“Every energy-saving action taken by the campus community helps towards the overall conservation effort,” she said.