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Vanderbilt under energy curtailment

Posted by on Thursday, July 24, 2008 in Energy, News.

[Originally published by Vanderbilt News Service in MyVU]

Because of the soaring temperatures and the accompanying demand placed on energy resources, the Tennessee Valley Authority has issued an energy curtailment beginning July 24 and lasting at least 15 days. During this period, members of the Vanderbilt community are being asked to reduce their energy consumption.

Last year during a similar curtailment period, Vanderbilt reduced its energy usage by 8 percent. This year the goal is 15 percent.

To help reach that goal, here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Moderate thermostat settings to 75-77 degrees F during the summer. Adjust it more radically when you leave for the day or weekend. Make sure programmable thermostats are programmed to conserve energy when areas are unoccupied (nights, weekends, etc.).
  2. If your office seems unusually hot or cold 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 instead of opening a window or turning on a space heater. A simple repair or adjustment can save a lot of energy and improve your comfort.
  3. Dress for the season and in layers so that you can moderate your own temperature when you get too warm or cold instead of adjusting the thermostat.
  4. Close window shades and blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep heat out and cool air in.
  5. Turn off the 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!
  6. Turn off the 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 each day!
  7. If allowed in your area, turn off office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, and scanners, 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. (Screensavers generally do not save much energy, so please set the energy-saving settings).
  8. Power down all unused equipment. Consider unplugging whatever you easily can or using power strips as equipment can drain small amounts of electricity even when turned off.

While the immediate goal is to reduce energy consumption during this curtailment period, a long-term goal is to reduce usage permanently. Over the next few months, you will be receiving additional information from Vanderbilt’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office regarding the ThinkOne energy conservation campaign. It’s an important and exciting campaign that will make a difference in energy reduction on our campus. Meanwhile, thank you for your attention to and help in reducing energy usage during this curtailment period.

Contact: Missy Pankake, (615) 322- NEWS


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