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Holiday temperature turndown saves money

In an effort to reduce energy use on campus and diminish the University's carbon footprint, the temperature will be turned down and maintained at 50°F in many buildings from Dec. 23-26 and Dec. 30-Jan. 2, 2012.

Emory will program heating systems in 24 campus buildings this winter holiday season to maintain a 50°F temperature setting for a total of eight days. In other campus buildings, thermostats are preset to 68°F. 

View the list of campus buildings included in the holiday turndown, and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Building occupants are encouraged to: 

• Keep a sweater, jacket or lap blanket in the office to be prepared to add layers of clothing to increase personal comfort; and 

• Turn off interior lights, computers and other office equipment before leaving for the holidays.

Emory's Oxford campus will be closed from Dec. 23, 2011 to Jan. 2, 2012 in an effort to conserve energy and realize cost savings. For staff reporting to campus during that time, a centralized heated workplace will be provided. 

Last holiday season, Emory saved approximately $15,000 by turning down buildings to reduce energy use.  Additionally, about 140,000kWh of electricity was saved, which is roughly equivalent to removing the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 41 cars. 

"The holiday turndown demonstrates that significant benefits to public health and the environmental benefits are achievable through relatively simple actions," says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives.

The energy reduction effort led by Campus Services and the Office of Sustainability Initiatives reinforces the institutional commitment to reduce energy use by 25 percent per square foot by 2015 from 2005 levels.

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