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Heat advisory means time to conserve energy

Posted in NEWS on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Photo by NOAA

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Middle Tennessee that will remain in effect this week. Increasing temperatures approaching 100 degrees combined with high levels of humidity are predicted to cause heat index readings to reach 105-120 degrees, conditions that may pose a direct threat to those who work or spend extended periods of time outside.

As one of the largest energy consumers in Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt University faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to do their part to reduce energy consumption on campus and in the medical center. Slight modifications to energy use patterns can make a large impact when aggregated across the entire University. While particularly important during high heat conditions, conservative energy use should be sustained all year.

VU Plant Operations, VUMC Plant Services, and the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) ask for your help and cooperation with these conservation efforts.

Here is what you can do to help reduce energy consumption at Vanderbilt:

  • Moderate thermostats settings to 76-78 degrees. Remember to adjust thermostats in classrooms unoccupied during the summer. Adjust thermostats more radically when you leave for the day or weekend. Dress for the hot weather so you can remain comfortable in more moderate temperatures.
  • Close window shades or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep heat out and cool air in.
  • Turn off lights in your work space when you leave, even if only for a short period of time. Turning off your lights will save energy if you are gone for more than 30 seconds.
  • Turn off lights to common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, break rooms, classrooms, and conference rooms when you leave and especially before leaving for the day. Many of these spaces sit empty the majority of the day.
  • Turn off office equipment. If allowed in your area, computers, printers, copiers, and scanners can be turned off when you leave for the day (or at the end of your work shift if they will not be used again for several hours). Otherwise, activate sleep modes and energy-saving settings. Instructions for modifying power settings can be found on the SustainVU Energy Saving Tips page.
  • In laboratory spaces, close fume hood sashes when not in use. A single fume hood running 24 hours can use the same amount of energy as a single-family home for a year.
  • If your office or area seems unusually cold or hot or you have trouble regulating the temperature, please call VU Plant Operations at 4-9675 or VUMC Plant Services at 2-2041 to let them know.

For additional ways to conserve energy, visit Vanderbilt’s ThinkOne energy conservation website. Your willingness to help with this important matter is appreciated.

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