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UT Knoxville introduced the Switch Your Thinking campaign in 2008 to encourage energy conservation. Since that time, the campus’ electricity use has decreased by 10 percent.

The rising summer temperatures present ample opportunity to cut energy costs and usage by adopting energy conservation practices in your offices and homes.

Students, faculty and staff at UT Knoxville are taking active steps towards saving energy on campus — and it is working! Since the Switch Your Thinking energy conservation campaign was launched, the campus community has helped to save $1.25 million in electricity, freeing up resources to support the university’s teaching and research mission.

In addition to saving money, Switch Your Thinking also has helped to advance campus sustainability efforts. This year alone, energy conservation on the part of faculty, staff, students and campus visitors, combined with energy efficiency projects completed by the facilities services department, has reduced the university’s carbon emissions by 1,118 tons, which is equivalent to removing 214 automobiles from the road for a year or preserving 10.6 acres of forest from deforestation.

“It’s clear that sustainability has become part of our campus culture,” said Gordie Bennett, UT Knoxville sustainability manager. “I am proud of everyone who has incorporated energy-saving habits, such as turning off lights and computers when not in use, into their daily routines.”

Help reduce costs and consumption, both at home and at work, by following these simple practices.

• Plug electronics into a power strip and turn off the strip at the end of each day.

• Use artificial lighting only when daylight is insufficient for the task at hand.

• Turn off lights in work areas when they are unoccupied.

• Set computers to enter sleep mode when not in use for 10 minutes or more.

• Keep exterior doors and windows closed when HVAC systems are operating.

• Close chemical fume hood sashes when not in use.

• Use break room coffee makers and refrigerators instead of personal units.

Faculty and staff also can help save energy by reporting any waste that you encounter on campus. Facilities Services staff are on hand to address service requests and emergencies. To report energy waste or request service, call 974-2347 or visit

For more information on UT Knoxville’s sustainability efforts, visit the Make Orange Green website at