Holiday Energy Saving Tips

Here you can find simple and effective conservation tips to implement on campus and at home.

For our most basic tips, see Energy and Water on Campus.

More advanced strategies are outlined below:

Energy Efficient Residence Halls

Through your residence hall fees, you pay for heating, cooling, lighting, and all other energy usages in your room and in all common spaces. Using energy and water wisely is both cost effective and environmentally responsible.

The UNC-CH Housing and Facilities Services staff have three primary goals for all campus buildings: clean and healthy indoor air, occupant comfort, and energy efficiency. Here’s some ideas for how you can help us achieve those goals.

Lighting

  • Desk Lamp: Use ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures and bulbs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room. Desk lamps are often used for many hours per day. ENERGY STAR qualified desk lamps, CFLs and LEDs bulbs provide high-quality light output, use two-thirds less energy and last 6-10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs.
  • Turn off unused or unneeded lights.
  • Rely on daylight instead of electric light whenever possible. This will also reduce cooling needs.
  • Try task lighting and reduce overhead lighting.

Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation

  • Air Register: Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.
  • Windows: The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in your residence hall is designed to bring in 15-20% fresh air, except during very cold weather. Fresh air is vital to indoor air quality. But when there is too much fresh air, the HVAC system uses more energy to regulate temperature for comfort. When you open your windows or leave outside doors propped out, you create an imbalance in the system. You may enjoy the additional fresh air, but your neighbors will not be as comfortable, and you use more energy.
  • Thermostats: It’s a common myth that adjusting the thermostat can warm up or cool down your space faster. But in reality, setting the thermostat to 90° will not make your room warm up any faster than leaving it set at 68°. You will save energy and be more comfortable if you do not adjust the temperature by more than 2° at a time.
  • Dress appropriately for the seasons and keep thermostats set to achieve 68 degrees in the winter and 76 degrees for air-conditioned spaces in the summer.
  • During the heating season, open blinds, drapes and curtains to let sun in. If no sun, close them to keep the heat in especially at night.
  • During the cooling season close blinds, drapes and curtains to block direct sun.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air conditioned areas.

Electronic Equipment

  • Power Strip: Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. Even when turned off, electronics often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this standby, or phantom power load, can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment when turned off, or still plugged into the wall. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
  • Power Adapter: Unplug battery chargers or power adapters when equipment is fully charged or disconnected from the charger.
  • Multi-Function Device: Save energy and space with an ENERGY STAR qualified multi-function device which combines several capabilities (print, , copy, scan) in one device. Make sure power management features are enabled for additional savings
  • Turn off your monitor by hitting the power button whenever they are not in use. Monitors consume 95% less energy when turned off.
  • Set your monitor to sleep when you are not using your computer for 15 minutes or longer. You can configure your computer to do this automatically through the Control Panel—Power Options. In some units, your IT staff may need to do this for you because of limited administrative rights for computer users.
  • Set computer to hibernate if shutting down is impractical. A computer uses the same amount of energy in hibernate mode as it does when it is shut down. If you have to walk away, but don’t want to close everything you were working on, put the computer in hibernate mode.
  • Laptops use only 1/4 the energy of a desktop. Purchase external keyboard and mouse to improve ergonomic usability.
  • Laptop chargers (like cell phone chargers) draw power even with nothing attached, unplug chargers from the wall when not in use.
  • Flat screens use only 1/3 the energy and contain 1/10 the lead of traditional monitors. They also radiate less heat and last longer. The additional cost will pay for itself in energy savings.
  • Use Energy Star equipment. When purchasing computers and peripherals, buy equipment certified by the EPA’s Energy Star program and be sure to enable power management features when setting up equipment.