Campus News

Energy-saving efforts save UGA $175,000 during heat wave

Through energy conservation efforts and being mindful of their work environment, members of the campus community saved UGA $175,000 and enough electricity to power 12 average American homes for a year.

Last month, as temperatures rose closer to triple digits, the Facilities Management Division sent out a request for UGA faculty, staff and students to be more conscious of their energy usage on campus.

David Spradley, energy services director, said that energy is purchased on an hourly basis using real-time pricing, which can lead to cost spikes during summer.

“Usually I only see 15-20 days (of cost spikes) a whole summer,” Spradley said. “But we’ve had 10 days before summer even started.”

As a result of the heat wave, an Archnews email was sent June 18 asking campus members to find ways to save energy. Spradley said lots of little things can make a difference.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody or make them totally change how they work,” he said. “The easiest thing and probably the most convenient thing that people do is turn off lights when they don’t need them.

“Lights not only consume energy, but they also put off heat which means the air-conditioning systems then have to work harder to cool the building.”

Spradley also suggested turning off printers, copy machines or lab equipment that won’t be needed for the next couple of hours.

“It’s real simple stuff that we’re asking folks to do,” he said. “We have 9,000 faculty, staff and student workers, so multiplying their energy savings by the thousands of people and it adds up.”

After the Archnews message, the campus consumed 123,000 fewer kilowatt hours of electricity.