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Energy conservation urged as new semester begins

Posted by on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 in Energy, News.

[Originally published by Vanderbilt News Service in MyVU]

While many of our faculty, staff and students have been away from campus enjoying the holidays, Nashville has seen extremely cold temperatures and several snow events. Temperatures are predicted to continue in the teens this week as we welcome back the entire campus community.

VU’s energy consumption in January can be very high due to the cold, making conservation important. As one of the largest energy consumers in Middle Tennessee, we in VU Plant Operations and VUMC Plant Services ask for your help and cooperation as we step up efforts to conserve.

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Moderate thermostats settings to 68-70° F. Remember to adjust thermostats in classrooms, offices, conference rooms, and other areas when they are unoccupied for long periods of time, such as at night or over the weekends. Dress for the cold weather in layers so you can remain comfortable in more moderate temperatures.
  • Open window shades or blinds during the sunniest part of the day to let sunlight help warm indoor areas.
  • Turn off lights in your work space when you leave, even if only for a short period of time. It 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. If you are not sure how to do this, please visit for instructions.
  • Close fume hood sashes when not in use. If you work in a laboratory space with chemical fume hoods, please close sashes on hoods that are not being used, if at all possible. A single fume hood running 24 hours can use as much energy as a single-family home uses in 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. If you would like more ideas to conserve energy, visit Vanderbilt’s ThinkOne energy conservation website at Your willingness to help with this important matter is appreciated.

Thank you,

Ken Browning, VUMC Plant Services

Mark Petty, VU Plant Operations

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