Winter 2017 Setback Saves Energy, Money

Cornell saved 1.4 million kwh during the winter break due to energy efficiency measures in the community...

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Energy Setback Checklist

Each winter, Cornell University asks employees, faculty, and students to take energy effiiciency measures to shut down and power off before leaving for winter break.  These measures have a huge impact on our overall ability to save energy during the break.

For the December 23, 2017 - January 2, 2018 Winter Break Setback program, Cornell saved $115,000 due to reducing 1,431,700 kWh of electricity usage during the break.

As part of the university’s Energy Conservation Initiative, Facilities Services has installed real-time metering to measure electric demand at the Combined Heat and Power Plant, and at substations throughout campus. “We use this data to generate the holiday setback program analysis and final report,” said Kim Anderson, Cornell’s Sustainability Engagement Manager . “This has allowed us accurate data and to paint a better picture of energy saving opportunities. We are entering a new era, gathering new information, which helps us summon newfound strength in energy conservation.”

Cornell’s Ithaca campus comprises 14 million square feet of indoor space across 150 buildings. The Cornell community’s joint efforts to conserve make significant, measurable changes in energy usage and consumption, Moore said.

Since students, faculty and staff generally don’t occupy buildings during the holiday break, Facilities Services set temperatures back to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature to which campus buildings are set for nights and weekends. The Energy Management group of Facilities Services has installed occupancy sensors that bring spaces back to 68 degrees whenever someone enters a room throughout campus and more modern buildings equipped with advanced controls can be programmed from a remote location.

In addition, Energy Management and the Energy Conservation Controls Team worked with building coordinators, facility managers and building occupants prior to the holiday setback program start to address temperature concerns for research, said Anderson.

Said Anderson: “The continuous supply of energy data is becoming part of our analysis. We are very excited about the ability to see in each building the effects of either user behavior or programmed control setbacks, and expect to continuously improve with data in the coming years.”

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