August 5, 2010

Saving energy crucial during summer’s heat

Saving energy crucial during summer’s heat

Temperatures in Middle Tennessee hit triple digits this week and are predicted to remain in the high 90s throughout the rest of August.

As one of the largest energy consumers in the region, Vanderbilt University is seeking to make reductions now in its energy use patterns that can be sustained year round.

According to VU Plant Operations and VUMC Facility Services, here are some ways employees can help step up efforts to conserve energy:

• Moderate thermostats settings to 76-78 F. Adjust it more radically when you leave for the day or weekend. • Close window shades or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep heat out and cool air in.

• Turn off lights in your work area when you leave, even if only for a short time.

• Turn off lights to common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, break rooms, classrooms and conference rooms when you leave and especially before leaving for the day.

• Turn off office equipment. If allowed in your area, computers, printers, copiers and scanners can be turned off 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.

• Close fume hood sashes when not in use. If you work in a laboratory space with chemical fume hoods, please close sashes on hoods that are not being used if at all possible. A single fume hood running 24 hours can use as much energy as a single-family home uses in a year.

If your office or area seems unusually cold or hot or you have trouble regulating the temperature, please call VU Plant Operations at 4-9675 or VUMC Plant Services at 2-2041.

For more ideas to conserve energy, visit Vanderbilt’s ThinkOne energy conservation website at