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Energy & Environment - AD 64: Energy Conservation Policy

Penn State's population makes it a large user of energy and in challenging economic times it is critical to use resources responsibly. The University has adopted a wide-ranging Energy Conservation Policy (AD 64) designed to lower energy consumption through employee and student action. Occupants of campus buildings have a major part to play in reducing energy use; about 30 percent of energy use is under the control of building occupants.

The policy is applicable to all Penn State employees and students and is broken out into six major categories.

  1. Lighting
    • Employees and students shall make every effort to reduce the amount of energy associated with lighting in all University facilities by:
      • Turn lights off in unoccupied spaces.
      • Discontinuing the use of incandescent lighting wherever more efficient lighting is possible such as when compact fluorescent or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs can be used.
      • Maximizing the use of natural light and turning off all nonessential lighting whenever possible.
      • Utilizing task lighting in lieu of overhead lighting when appropriate.
      • Turning off exterior building architectural lighting between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.
    • Personal safety shall not be compromised from lighting energy reduction decisions
  2. Interior Environment
    • ​​Every effort will be made to maintain the occupied temperature in all University facilities at 70 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees in the summer. This excludes areas that currently are not heated or cooled and areas with special environmental needs.
    • The temperature during low occupancy or unoccupied periods in all University facilities will be allowed to cool down to 60 degrees in the winter and warm up to 85 degrees in the summer. This excludes areas that currently are not heated or cooled and areas with special environmental needs.
    • Employees and students with manual control of the equipment that heats or cools their space shall operate the equipment so that the least amount of energy is consumed (example, operate window air conditioning units only when the spaces are occupied).
    • Every effort will be made to improve the utilization of our buildings by consolidating activities from lower utilized buildings into higher utilized buildings. This will allow building heating, ventilating and air conditioning system run times to be reduced, resulting in energy savings.
    • Only Office of Physical Plant (OPP) or Housing and Food Service (HFS) issued portable electric heaters are permitted at University Park. Portable electric heater use at locations away from University Park must be approved by the campus budget executive, or designee, on a case by case basis.
  3. Computers
    • Computer power management software shall be enabled to minimize the operation and consumption of electricity when computers are not in use. This excludes computers performing unique computational functions.
    • Computers purchased with University funds are required to be ENERGY STAR and EPEAT labeled unless suitable justifications are approved by the appropriate budget executive. Energy saving features shall be enabled.
    • Peripheral equipment shall be turned off whenever possible.
    • Students are encouraged to turn off and unplug gaming consoles when not in use (some brands use almost as much turned off as when turned on).
  4. Office Equipment
    • All powered office equipment shall be turned off or placed in standby when not in use, unless it is detrimental to the operation of the equipment to do so. Items such as copiers, printers, calculators, shredders, etc., should be turned off at the end of the work day.
    • Office equipment quantities shall be reduced through consolidation to central locations for shared use whenever possible.
    • Office equipment purchased with University funds is required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless approved by the responsible budget executive.
  5. Appliances
    • ​​Employees
      • Non-University provided appliances (such as printers, coffee makers, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, toasters, lamps, televisions, and scanners) may only be used if approved by the department head or supervisor in charge of the area.
      • The quantities of University purchased appliances shall be reduced through consolidation to central locations for shared use whenever possible.
      • All new or replacement appliances purchased with University funds are required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless specifically approved by the responsible budget executive. Exceptions are authorized if there are no Energy Star rated appliances manufactured that meet the user’s needs.
      • All new or replacement televisions shall be LCD unless there is a justifiable need for the tube based display.
      • All appliances shall be turned off when not in use, unless it is detrimental to do so (for example a refrigerator or freezer).
    • Students
      • All appliances shall be turned off when not in use unless it is detrimental to do so (for example a refrigerator or freezer).
        Students are encouraged to bring to campus only appliances with the ENERGY STAR label.
      • For additional information regarding appliances that can be used in the residence halls, please refer to the Regulations section of Terms, Conditions, & Regulations on the Housing website.
  6. Fume Hoods
    • Fume hood sashes are to be closed when not being accessed to minimize energy use and provide improved lab safety.
    • Fume hoods that won’t be used for a long period of time should be brought to the attention of the Office of Physical Plant for shutdown

For more information about Penn State's Energy Conservation Policy or how you can get involved with sustainability at Penn State, e-mail sustainability@psu.edu.