Vol. 56, No. 12Twelfth Week • Fall Semester • Nov. 3, 2008

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Energy guidelines promote strategic plan goals
energy conservation imageThe UW-Eau Claire strategic plan has identified stewardship and sustainability as campus values. The university’s recently released carbon neutrality report concludes that use of electrical power and the burning of fossil fuels for heat comprise by far the largest percentage of UW-Eau Claire carbon emissions.

In an effort to conserve energy, reduce the campus carbon footprint and comply with state mandates, the university is undertaking a number of measures. In the campuswide operation of heating and ventilation systems, calibration of thermostats to assure compliance with the temperature standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Administration will be the measure that is likely to have the most direct impact on students, faculty, staff and others in campus buildings. During the heating season, thermostats for occupied areas of buildings are to be set for a maximum of 68 degrees while occupied.  During periods when these areas are not occupied, automated building systems will be used to further lower temperatures. Spaces such as vestibules, stairwells, mechanical rooms, storage areas and other unoccupied areas will, to the extent they can be isolated from occupied spaces, be heated to a maximum of 60 degrees.  Exceptions to these standards will be made for special use spaces such as restrooms, shower and locker rooms, examination rooms in the Nursing building and Student Health Center, swimming pool facilities and other spaces where bodies are in contact with water or otherwise unprotected.

To help achieve campus conservation goals, please cooperate with the following guidelines:

  • Do not use electric space heaters to warm areas above the state-mandated 68-degree level.
  • Wear warmer garments or bring a wrap with you to the university, if necessary.
  • In an office setting, arrange furniture to have one’s desk away from windows and exterior walls. Thermostats are placed on interior walls and, if operating correctly, will maintain the temperature at which it is set, at that location.  In the winter, it will be colder next to the exterior wall.
  • Turn lights off in classrooms, labs, offices and other spaces when not occupied.
  • Where multiple switching allows for more than one light level in a space, consider using less than the maximum level. Keep in mind that fluorescent lights take a short time to reach their full brightness; wait a few minutes to evaluate how adequate lighting is at a lower setting before increasing the level.
  • Turn off copiers and other office equipment overnight or when they will not be used for extended periods of time.
  • Unplug any block transformers that may be used to charge electronic equipment or convert them to AC operation.  These transformers can draw electric current even when no device is connected or turned on.
  • Turn off computer monitors (especially CRT-type monitors) each night or whenever the computer will not be used for extended time periods. Turn off computer processors during weekends, holidays, vacations and other periods when they will not be used for several days.
  • Minimize the use of microwaves, coffee brewers and other electrical appliances.

DOA energy-use policies prescribe temperature and other standards for occupied and unoccupied spaces in state buildings. In addition, these policies encourage the maximum use of automated temperature setback systems and other routine procedures to conserve energy.  Governor Jim Doyle’s Executive Order 145 mandates adoption of these policies and sets empirical standards for reductions in energy use. These policies apply to all campus facilities, including residence halls and centers.

In fiscal year 2005 alone the UW System, as a whole, had a utility deficit of nearly $30 million, much of which was covered by a last-minute allocation of funds by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance.  All state agencies were subsequently alerted that there would be no funds available for supplemental allocations in the future, and any utility shortfalls would have to be covered with other agency funds.  Considering the budget reductions UW-Eau Claire and all UW campuses have experienced, we need to do all we can to avoid a further hit on our budget to cover a utilities deficit.

Questions regarding UW-Eau Claire’s energy conservation guidelines should be directed to Terry Classen, Facilities Planning and Management, at 715-836-5278 or classetl@uwec.edu. Go to top of page


University Bulletin
Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Monday for publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.

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Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, 715-836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Assistant Editor. Updated: July 28, 2008.

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