What KU is Doing
The University of Kansas is committed to a policy of energy efficiency and energy conservation, particularly during this time of rising utility costs, tighter budgets, and new construction on campus. This is accomplished by developing a realistic, comprehensive, aggressive, and progressive approach for efficient energy use.
KU is taking the initiative to address opportunities for energy conservation, both technical and behavioral. This initiative is driven by the goals outlined in the Campus Sustainability Plan. KU's approach is to go building by building to assess facilities, identify energy conservation measures, and put leadership teams in place to assist with ongoing implementation and assessment of efficiencies within the building.
The KU Center for Sustainability tracks building energy use and performance in university buildings. Center for Sustainability staff monitor the operation of building mechanical systems and find opportunities to minimize energy consumption such as adjusting building heating and cooling schedules, maintaining temperature set-points, identifying opportunities to install more energy efficient lighting, and many others.
The KU Center for Sustainability also promotes a culture of sustainability at KU, empowering students, faculty, and staff to make sustainable decisions. Center staff identify opportunities for improving the efficiency of energy use through occupant behavior change on KU’s Lawrence campus.
The Center for Sustainability works together with other KU Operations departments to lower energy and meet the needs on campus while creating a healthy, comfortable environment.
What You Can Do
Below are some energy actions and useful tools to help you make your workplace and home more energy efficient.
Flip It Off
You’ve heard, “shut off the lights when you leave the room,“ but do you? Making sure just three lights around your workspace are switched off every night could save as much CO2 each year as produced by a car trip from Lawrence to Nashville.
Have a desk lamp or task light in your office? Check to see if it has a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL). If not, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll replace it. A compact fluorescent bulb uses 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb.
If every U.S. home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR efficient light bulb, the amount of energy saved could light more than three million homes for a year and prevent nine billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. That is equivalent to the emissions of about 800,000 cars.
If It’s Not In Use, Turn off the Juice
Don’t forget to turn off your computer and monitor when you leave work to eliminate wasted energy. Need a reminder? Add a daily prompt to your Outlook calendar, or set up automatic shutdown in case you forget to shut off your computer when you leave work.
Set your computer to power down (sleep mode) after 15 minutes when not actively in use. Worried it’s hard on the computer to shut it down? Today’s technology devices do just fine being turned on and off thousands of times throughout their life. Your departmental IT support staff can help with automatic computer settings.
In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. The average desktop computer idles at 80 watts, while the average laptop idles at 20 watts. A Sony PlayStation 3 uses about 200 watts and nearly as much when idle.
Keep in mind that the monitor uses more energy than the hard drive does. Be sure to shut down both components each night. Need a smart power strip? Contact us at email@example.com.
Nominate yourself to power down the office multi-function printer after work each day. Talk with your office manager and be sure to notify your office when the printer will be shut down. It will help your office achieve a “Green Office Level” certification. A multi-function printer left on overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1500 copies.
Hot or Cold?
Are you too hot, too cold, or just right? Know that temperatures may fluctuate in your workspace but shouldn't get higher than 76F in the summer or lower than 69F in the winter during occupied hours. Those set-points are outlined in campus policy. If your space is too hot or too cold, please report it as soon as possible to Facilities Services at 785-864-4770. Visit the Building Temperatures page for more information.
If you have a desk fan, be sure to shut it off at night. Leaving your fan running overnight throughout the summer wastes enough energy to:
- Run an LCD TV over the same period.
- Power your cell phone for 25 years.
- Power your laptop for a year.
Closing your curtains or shades to block the incoming sun can save you energy. In winter, departments can obtain plastic film from Facilities Services to cover single pane windows. This film may be installed by departments or by Facilities Services. Contact Facilities Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-864-4770.
A Bunch of Hot Air
Electric space heaters can significantly interfere with the building’s main heating system by sending the message to a nearby thermostat that this part of the building is too warm, causing the central heating to turn off. This makes the user of the heater and their colleagues feel even colder. Space heaters are not allowed under university policy.
Did you know that electric space heaters can produce twice as much greenhouse gas as central heating? And, running an electric space heater can be up to three times as expensive as central heating.
If you notice leaky faucet or other fixture in a restroom, shared kitchen or other area, report it in Maximo or contacting Facilities Services at email@example.com or 785-864-4770. A hot water faucet that leaks one drop per second can add up to 165 gallons a month, which is more water than the average person uses in two weeks.
Make Sure "Off" is "Off"
When they are turned off, television sets in the United States still collectively draw the power equivalent of a nuclear plant! They use this power for their instant-on capacity to prevent a minute or two wait for the screen to warm up. Use a power strip and turn it off when you’re not watching TV.