Part to Help UNL Cut Energy Costs
University employees are being
asked to contribute to a cost-cutting measure that is
relatively painless, but will help the university save
resources energy savings.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman asks that faculty and staff
join in helping reduce energy costs for the upcoming
year. By reducing energy consumption, we can avoid shifting
precious resources into the energy budget. And any savings
in the current budget can be directed toward energy conservation
The state funded budget for the fiscal year 2008-09 allots
$21,000,000 to purchase utilities (this does not include
amounts for auxiliary facilities). Under the new NUCorp
agreement, all utility savings will be reinvested into
energy conservation projects to further enhance UNL's
energy efficiency. Over time, utility savings from these
costs will be the difference in what the utility budget
would have needed to be without the conservation measures
versus the budget that we will need. By being frugal
in our use of utilities, we can redirect funds to other
campus needs. This is analogous to why we turn our heat
down at home -- we have more money in our family budgets
for other uses.
The following ten energy-saving tips are offered to help
reduce energy consumption at UNL.
OUT Turn off lights in any room when
lights are no longer needed. Lighting accounts
for 5 percent to 10 percent of total energy use;
when multiplied by the number of users, the potential
for waste is enormous. Make the most of natural
daylight, using incandescent bulbs sparingly (they
are the cheapest but least efficient light source),
using task rather than general lighting, using
fluorescent lighting when possible and turning
off unnecessary lights. Be proactive; turn off
incandescent lights whenever they are not needed,
and turn off fluorescent lights if they will not
be needed for 10 minutes or longer (turning a light
back on does not use more electricity than leaving
it on, but fluorescent fixture life is decreased
if switching is too frequent). If bi-level switching
or dimmers are available, use the lowest setting
that meets your need.
AND PRINTERS Turn off computers, monitors,
printers and photocopiers when you leave your
office for the evening. During the day, turn
off your computer monitor when you leave your
desk for more than a few minutes. This recommendation
applies to all computers and monitors, but is
especially important if you use an older CRT
monitor or the new, large LCD monitors. If you must leave
your computer on for off-campus access, use the
power management built in to your operating system
(Windows: Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Power
Options; Mac: System Preferences > Energy Saver)
to automatically reduce energy use. There are
at least 15,000 and perhaps as many as 18,000
computers at UNL. If each were turned off, or
powered down during non-use periods, the potential
for significant savings exists. Or, use a laptop:
a typical laptop computer has a power consumption
of 30 watts. A typical desktop PC, with conventional
display, consumes about 5 times as much. Printers
are typically left on for extended periods of
time but are active only for a small percentage
of that time. This means conventional printers
can waste a significant amount of energy. Laser
printers consume the most energy. When purchasing,
select a printer with power management capabilities.
Printers with automatic
"power down" features can reduce electricity use
by over 65 percent.
has many different heating and cooling systems, which
makes it difficult to give general rules about thermostat
use. While you will almost always save energy by
turning your home thermostat down (up in summer)
when you're away, that action can have the opposite
effect in some UNL buildings. Use the thermostat
to maintain comfortable conditions in your workspace,
and set it at the desired room temperature. During
non-use periods, Facilities Management & Planning
makes customized adjustments to most buildings' heating
and cooling systems to reduce energy use as much
HEATERS While it may be cool on winter
mornings after an overnight HVAC shutdown, the use of space heaters is strongly discouraged.
Standard electric space heaters consume 1500 watts
at their typical highest setting; that's essentially
the energy footprint of 10 desktop computers with
monitors. Keep in mind that any costs associated
with the operation of space heaters will lessen
the amount saved through our HVAC shutdown policy. So if you're regularly uncomfortable during the hours when UNL's HVAC systems are recovering, consider bringing a sweater to work.
off coffee pots and similar appliances when they
are not in use. A typical coffee pot costs 4 cents
per use and another 4 cents per hour to keep the
coffee warm. Radios and TVs should be turned off
when out of the office.
DRESS Wear clothing appropriate to the
season and weather
lightweight clothing in summer and warmer clothes
in winter. Wear layers so you can adapt to varying
conditions in your workspace and still be comfortable.
winter, drapes or blinds should be open when windows
are in direct sunlight or you are using the daylight,
and closed otherwise. During summer, close drapes
or blinds to prevent direct sunlight from entering
the room. Try not to use windows for temperature
revolving doors where available. Vestibule doors
should not be propped open and should always close
and latch behind you.
FANS Turn off small exhaust fans when
they are not needed. Close laboratory fume hood
doors whenever the hood is not being used (and
whenever possible, even during use).
your building maintenance reporter if your work area
is overheated in the winter or overcooled in summer.
Do not habitually open a window to get rid of excess
heat in the winter.
||YOUR SUGGESTIONS Have a suggestion for other energy-saving steps that could be taken at UNL? Email Kirk Conger, energy projects manager.