Summer Energy Saving Initiative

Utility costs are among NC State’s largest expenses, and summer presents a strategic opportunity to save energy, particularly during evening hours and on weekends when many classroom buildings are unoccupied. Campus buildings with classrooms are being reviewed for energy saving opportunities during Summer I and Summer II sessions. After the last scheduled class or event of the day (based on schedules provided by the University Registrar), air conditioning levels will be reduced so that the university is not paying to cool unoccupied spaces (research areas and other critical spaces are excluded from this initiative). When unoccupied, indoor temperatures will be allowed to increase up to 80ºF. These energy-saving settings, which occur mostly in the evenings and on weekends, will automatically adjust so that normal building temperatures are restored before the building opens the following morning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are labs or critical server rooms impacted?

Some teaching labs will be impacted, but labs designated for research are excluded from this initiative. Rooms with critical servers requiring precise climate control will also not be impacted by this initiative.

Why was my building chosen to be part of this summer energy saving initiative? 

Some of the university’s buildings have been equipped with sophisticated temperature controls that allow the air conditioning levels to be adjusted remotely and scheduled in advance. Buildings with this capability are part of this energy-saving initiative. Additionally, some of these buildings have HVAC systems programmed to automatically adjust based on events/courses listed in the university’s room scheduler (Astra).

Why do some buildings just have classrooms impacted and other buildings are impacted as a whole?

Some campus buildings are equipped with special zoning equipment that allows air conditioning levels to be adjusted in just classrooms while keeping surrounding offices, labs and lobby areas at normal operating temperatures. In those buildings, the temperatures in unoccupied classrooms might be setback beginning at, for example, 2 p.m. even though the entire building isn’t setback until 5 p.m.

Who is in charge of this initiative?

This initiative is a collaborative effort of the University Registrar, University Sustainability Office, Energy Management, and Building Maintenance and Operations. If you have questions or concerns about this initiative, contact This initiative is similar to the Winter Holiday Energy Saving Initiative that the university has done for more than a decade.


What do I do if I need to use a room during a time when the room’s temperature is in energy-saving mode?

Many buildings have a wall-mounted override switch, which will allow for a one-time override of the building’s energy-saving schedule. One switch is located on each floor and is identified by a gray sign (see photo).