Energy Conservation Newsletter
There has been much news coverage about the high cost of natural gas and the expected impact of further predicted price increases on the cost of heating homes and businesses this winter. The University’s provider of natural gas has alerted us to possible prices 50% above last year’s levels.
Early estimates indicate this could cost Creighton as much as $2 million more than expected for the heating season, assuming normal weather patterns. Many of us may have received notices of increase prices at home from our household suppliers. It will be important for all of us to do what we can at work and at home to conserve energy and minimize our exposure to these increased prices.
With this in mind, the University will be implementing additional measures to reduce energy consumption. Some of these steps can be accomplished centrally by Facilities Management, but others will require the assistance and vigilance of the entire campus to achieve the best results. This newsletter outlines the planned changes and identifies tips for all of us to use at work and at home to reduce our energy consumption over the winter.
Facilities Management will be implementing the following:
1. Campus thermostats in classrooms and common areas will be set back to 66?, down from
the normal winter setting of 68?. Office spaces and living quarters will be set at 68?,
down from the normal winter setting of 70?.
2. Facilities Management will set the temperature of the water heaters to 110?F.
Additionally, the hot water circulating pumps found in some buildings will be turned
off when the building is idle.
3. Effectively close down all classrooms and unused offices during the Christmas and New
4. Facilities Management will develop audits of energy consuming devices and spaces at no
cost to the customer.
5. All buildings not on the central energy management computer system shall have their
temperature settings at 68?F by responsible individuals. Facilities Management will
make frequent temperature checks to verify the settings. If needed, a lockable
thermostat cover can be installed over the thermostat.
6. Facilities Management will evaluate light levels and eliminate some lighting in the
hallways where it is safe and practical.
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7. Facilities Management and others will close window coverings to help keep the heat from
escaping through the windows. Open window covering during the times the sun shines
against the glass is encouraged.
8. Newly installed automatic doors into Criss II will be altered to a more conventional
operation and still be accessible to all.
9. When classes and other functions in a building end each day, the building will be closed
to prevent unauthorized and inefficient use of the space. The heating system will be
turned down to night set-back about 15 minutes before the end of day. Likewise,
outside air introduced for the occupant will be curtailed during the times when the
building is closed or unoccupied (research areas and some wet labs will not have the
outside air supply curtailed).
10. Custodial service will be shifted to daytime cleaning in the libraries, offices and other
quiet spaces. Some areas that are customer intensive like the Dental clinic, will
continue to be cleaned after hours.
11. Facilities Management will continue to use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs. These compact
fluorescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and
provide the same light levels. Making improvements to your lighting is one of the
fastest ways to cut electrical energy bills. (The cost of electricity for lighting on campus
is estimated to be over 50% of the electrical budget.)
12. Facilities Management staff will also be doing the following:
a. Walking through buildings turning off lights, closing doors, closing window
coverings and checking temperatures,
b. Checking the operation of outside air dampers. This will include measurements of
air flow at minimum code ventilation requirements and closed positions,
c. Checking heating, ventilating and air-conditioning control sequence,
d. Checking and replacing defective weather stripping and caulking, and
e. Ensuring operable windows are capable of being tightly closed.
Things we can all do to help:
1. Evaluate the hours of operation of the libraries and the Skutt Student Center to verify
whether the times can be cut back an hour or two.
2. Lower the temperature of the swimming pool to 78?, down from 82?. This is a
satisfactory temperature for recreational swimming. Close and drain the hot tub in the
Kiewit Fitness Center.
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3. Avoid using personal space heaters. These units use a lot of energy, cause breakers to
trip, and are dangerous when left unattended. One space heater can consume the same
amount of power that it would take to run FIFTY-SIX (56) four-foot fluorescent
lamps! Due to the significant electrical load consumed, when space heaters are
combined with the use of another appliance (such as a personal computer), circuit
breakers are more likely to trip. Without proper safeguards, such sudden power outages
can damage electronic equipment and cause loss of data.
4. The campus community is encouraged to turn off lights and lock doors when leaving
offices, classrooms and conference rooms, where safe and practical. Post class
schedules to alert others that the room is idle and can be allowed to have heat reduced
and the lights turned off.
5. Faculty and staff are encouraged to enable the sleep settings on your computer monitor.
Screen savers do not save energy but sleep settings do.
6. All are encouraged to turn off PCs, monitors, printers, copiers, coffee pots and lights
every night and on weekends. If you can’t turn off the whole computer, turn off the
monitor and the printer. This can save up to $44 per computer per year. 7. If appropriate, use ink-jet printers – they consume 95% less energy than laser printers.
Similarly, laptops use 90% less energy than desktop computers.
8. When purchasing PCs, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, look for Energy
9. The campus community and guests are encouraged to wear comfortable and sensible
business attire, dress in layers to be comfortable at various temperatures and avoid
10. The campus population is encouraged to not prop open doors leading to the outside of
buildings. Open doors and windows in the winter can and have caused freeze ups in
radiators near windows, resulting in broken water pipes. Open windows and doors send
erroneous information to the thermostat causing excess energy use. Interior doors left
open will compromise the efficient operation of the heating system. Keep the exterior
and freight doors closed as much as practical. This tip is also very sensible for fire
prevention and life safety.
11. The Campus Energy Awareness Committee, as an ad hoc group will meet on two week
intervals through the winter to develop and express ideas and tips to keep the campus
community focused on energy conservation. The group will also publish tips that can
be helpful at home.
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12. Implement paper-reducing strategies such as double sided printing, and using e-mail
instead of sending memos and faxes. Saving paper saves energy because it takes 10
times more energy to manufacture a piece of paper than it does to put an image on it. 13. Be aware of peak electrical power usage periods and the rate increase imposed by OPPD
during those times. Minimize electrical energy use during peak demand hours from
noon to 6:00 p.m. Turn off all unneeded electrical appliances, equipment, and lights. 14. The campus community is encouraged to report any “hot areas” to Facilities Management
for investigation and repair.
15. Where possible, check windows and doors for air leaks. If you can see daylight or feel air
movement around door and window frames, report the leak to Facilities Management. 16. Where possible, check for air leaks where faucets or pipes penetrate the building. Notice
dripping faucets and toilets that flow excessive water and report the problem to
And last, but certainly not least - - - - - - - RECYCLE
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