Winter weather means increased energy consumption and costs at Miami. A recent meeting of building points-of-contact included reminders of easy steps staff and faculty can take to reduce the university's energy use. The reminders are a follow-up to a letter from David Creamer, vice president for finance and business services, last winter, stressing both the environmental and financial benefits from lowering the university's energy consumption.
Here are some suggestions that will make a difference:
1. Eliminate the use of space heaters.
2. Unplug individual refrigerated water coolers at night and on weekends.
3. Turn off lights when rooms are not in use (based on Miami’s electric rate it’s worthwhile to turn off an incandescent bulb for one minute, and a fluorescent bulb if you’ll be gone for 20 minutes). When exiting restrooms or vending machine areas, turn off the lights.
4. Shut off computers, copiers and printers at night and unplug if easily accessible. (A copier in sleep mode at night uses as much energy per year as it takes to make up to 5,000 copies). Other equipment such as TVs, VCRs, DVDs, kitchen appliances, etc should be unplugged when not in use.
5. Use automatic door openers only when necessary.
6. Make sure windows are shut and locked to conserve heating and cooling.
7. Conserve paper by using both sides of the paper. Use recycled paper when printing drafts or in-house materials. Sending an e-mail or attachment also helps conserve paper.
Before the winter break, please be especially sure to turn off or unplug those machines that will not be needed before January. Many departments have adopted paper-saving and energy-reducing practices already and extra efforts will continue to preserve resources.
“Individual efforts are the key to reducing Miami’s energy costs and environmental impact,” according to David Prytherch, Miami’s new sustainability coordinator, “and working together we can make this a more sustainable campus.” For other money- and resource-saving suggestions and responses, and to make additional suggestions for saving money and promoting sustainability at Miami, please visit www.muohio.edu/ThisMakesCents/.