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Deck the Halls and Conserve Energy

Posted Dec. 10, 2012
enter photo description
Kent State University employees are encouraged to help
the university conserve energy while on break for the
holidays.

Kent State University is officially closed between Christmas and New Year’s, but employees can help conserve energy while they are home for the holidays.

Although the university is closed during the holidays, Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager, says there is still “an amount of activity that goes on” around campus during that time.

“Someone will still be operating the Power Plant and our essential employees will still be here,” Knowles says.

For buildings and offices that are empty, the heat is set back to 68 degrees to minimize energy use. Knowles also says that the Facilities Planning and Operations department sends “post-it” reminders to faculty and staff suggesting that they help conserve energy use while not on campus, by:

  • Turning off and unplugging computers. “A lot of the electronics have a ‘vampire load,’ which means those items still use energy even when they are turned off,” Knowles says. “It’s about taking the extra step and also unplugging those things.” 
  • Closing and locking windows.
  • Pulling down the shades.
  • Turning lights off.
  • Submitting a request for repairs on things, such as leaky windows. “This is also a good time to mention repairs,” Knowles says. “It’s a good time to report these repairs by submitting a request.” Maintenance requests can be submitted at https://flashtrack.kent.edu.

And here are some tips from Knowles about conserving energy at home over the holidays:

  • Look for holes or leaks in your windows and weather stripping.  “You can lose energy, and you can lose comfort if it’s always colder by the windows,” she says.
  • If you don’t have efficient windows, add sheets of plastic to them.
  • Unplug appliances, such as the coffee pot when not in use. “Those appliances will continue to suck energy when they’re not being used,” Knowles says.
  • And for a Christmas twist: “Many Christmas lights are now LED lights,” says Knowles. “LED lights are more efficient. They have fewer risks of getting hot and causing problems.”

To learn more about sustainability at Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/sustainability/index.cfm