Tips to keep in mind for reducing energy over winter break

The Office of Energy and Sustainability’s Student Ambassadors have several tips members of the campus community should keep in mind before leaving their offices for winter break to help make Case Western Reserve University more sustainable.

Review the following suggestions for reducing energy waste in the office over break:

  • Turn off computers, copiers and printers, and other computer or lab equipment.
  • Eliminate vampire power by unplugging idle electronics or turn a power strip off to unplug all its devices at once, such as computers, space heaters, chargers and printers.
  • Turn off lights, even small task lights.
  • Be sure any operable windows are shut and locked.

Based on data collected in CWRU buildings, conserving electricity in university offices this winter break could save over 64,000 kWh, $5,000 and more than 47 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The electricity saved over a two-week period could power a standard Ohio home for six years, an amount equivalent to more than 52,000 pounds of coal burned.

To keep saving energy in 2019, individuals can:

  • Invest in “smart” power strips, which can be timer-equipped, current sensing, or occupancy sensing to reduce energy waste. These power strips also sometimes have remote controls.
  • Choose energy-efficient equipment that can be identified with the ENERGY STAR logo.
  • Consolidate printers and copiers and use centralized printing for your office suite.
  • Activate sleep settings on all office machines. Suggested computer settings: display sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity and CPU sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • Avoid screensavers, especially those that use 3-D effects, as they can consume even more energy than active mode.
  • Be sure to turn off lights when not in use or when natural daylight is sufficient, and use task-specific lighting when feasible. This can reduce lighting expenses by 10 to 40 percent.

Check the Office of Energy and Sustainability’s website for more sustainability tips.