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Now that the fall semester has ended, the campus has a tremendous opportunity to reduce energy consumption and utility costs.

Facilities Services has set back or turned off heating and cooling systems in campus spaces that do not house research laboratories, animal care facilities, server rooms, or other temperature-sensitive operations.

In particular, Facilities Services has adjusted temperature set points in classrooms and offices as follows:

  • Classrooms will be heated to no more than 55 degrees from December 12 through January 10. Temperature set points will be adjusted back to 68 degrees by January 11—the first day of classes.
  • Offices will be heated to no more than 55 degrees from December 23 through January 1. Temperature set points will be adjusted back to 68 degrees on January 2.

Winter peak hours for energy use are between 5:00 and 11:00 a.m. During these hours, energy rates for TVA’s wholesale customers—including UT Knoxville—are 11 percent higher for each kilowatt hour of energy used.

Faculty and staff working during the winter break can make a significant impact on the campus’s energy use by shifting activities to non-peak hours. Plan to dress in layers or have a sweater close at hand. Portable space heaters consume large amounts of energy and are not authorized for campus use without prior written approval from Facilities Services.

Campus energy consumption was down for the months of September and October. In September, UT Knoxville faculty, staff, and students worked together to achieve a six percent drop in energy consumption—the largest drop since the beginning of the challenge in February, 2011. Total electricity use in October was 3.2 percent lower than the average campus energy use in October 2008 and 2009.

Since its launch in February, the Chancellor’s Challenge has seen a cumulative decrease in total kilowatt hours of 1.4 percent and has saved the campus approximately $215,000 in electricity costs. This percentage is compared to energy usage in 2008 and 2009.

To help the campus save energy, please turn off all lights, office electronics, kitchen appliances, and any laboratory equipment for which power is not absolutely necessary.

Computers that are not needed to support continuous research also should be powered down and unplugged.

If you experience any difficulties during the holidays and other campus closures, please contact the 24-hour Facilities One Call at 946-7777. Additional tips for saving energy can be found on the Switch Your Thinking website,