August 4, 2006

Heat leads to call for power conservation

Featured Image

Tom Talbot, M.D., Medical Director of Infectious Diseases, presents Lauran Allen with the Vanderbilt Infection Prevention Award for her work on VUMC’s hand hygiene campaign.
Photo by Susan Urmy

The long, hot summer in Nashville is having an impact on Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides electrical power to the Medical Center, has enacted contractual power reductions from its commercial customers that will last until the middle of the month.

This means VUMC will need to reduce power consumption and manage within its own power generation capacity.

VUMC Plant Operations is working to reduce electrical demand through central measures, but there is still a great deal that employees can do to help reduce power consumption.

Suggestions include:

• Power down all unused equipment.

• Limit copy machine use.

• Turn off all decorative lighting. Typically, halogen and incandescent lighting use more energy than flourescent lighting.

• Raise thermostat settings to 78 degrees.

• Turn off bathroom lights as you leave.

• Turn off office lights when you exit and turn off lights in unoccupied areas such as conference rooms and storage areas.

To report a public area that seems too cold, please call Plant Services at 322-2041.

These types of seemingly simple measures can have an enormous impact on VUMC’s bottom line.

During past electrical power usage curtailments, similar efforts helped the Medical Center avoid nearly $500,000 in penalty charges.