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For more information about IU's energy conservation efforts, visit
the IU Energy Challenge site, or the Office of Sustainability. »

Best Bets for Reducing Office and Lab Energy Consumption

All areas:
  • Turn off lights when not in use and maximize natural light.
    • Fact: Lighting accounts for 29% of energy use in typical office spaces.
  • Set thermostats to 65 in winter and 80 in summer.
    • Fact: For each degree you lower your heat between 60 -70 degrees, you save up to 5% on heating costs.
    • Don't turn on sink faucet in the restroom until you're ready to rinse the soap off your hands.
      Fact: The foamy soap available in IU restroom facilities is designed to be used on dry hands.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Keep exterior doors closed.
Office/Desk space:
  • Set your monitor to go to sleep mode after 20 min of inactivity.  (Start Menu> Control Panel>Power Options)
    • Fact: Computer monitors consume half of the energy used to power the computer.
  • Turn off computers at the end of the day. (Leave on one night per week for updates.)
    • Fact: IU offers the Go Green Gadget that will help monitor and reduce your computer's energy consumption.  Or visit RePower's video guides to setting your computer to go to sleep after 5 minutes.
  • Ditch the screen savers.
    • Fact: LCD monitors don’t need them and they use unnecessary additional energy.
  • Use a laptop instead of a desktop.
    • Fact: A laptop can save 80 – 90 % of the energy a desktop uses.
  • Use the power save mode on office equipment.
General Lab:
  • Turn off lights when not in use and maximize natural light.
  • Shut down energy intensive equipment when not in use (heat blocks and water baths).
  • Use surge protector power strips on equipment and turn off power when equipment is not in use to save on residual power draws.  And unplug unused equipment that isn't on a power strip.
  • Keep hallway doors closed (don't prop them open) to optimize air handling efficiency within the building, especially in Myers and Simon Halls.
  • Run full loads—group things together.
  • Use smaller autoclaves for smaller loads.
  • Use good indicators so that there are not autoclave reruns or faulty media.
  • Close fume hood sashes when not in use.
    • Fact: If a fume hood is not in use, keeping the sash wide open wastes about $1,500 in energy costs per year per hood.
    • Fact: IU has approximately 835 fume hoods on the Bloomington campus.
  • Lower fume hoods.
    • Fact: Lowering the fume hood height from 12 inches to 2 inches in hundreds of labs in five science buildings saved Harvard University an estimated $100,000 in utilities.
  • Defrost freezers to reduce energy load consumption.
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer coils (like you do at home).
  • Run full loads of dishes in automatic dishwashers.
  • Use DI water only if needed, tap water for hand washing and normal “non-experimental” rinsing (more energy intensive filtration).
  • Report leaks to the IUB Physical Plant at 855-3740.

The above content was collected thanks to: Cornell & UCLA Green Websites, Indiana University Office of Sustainability, IU Energy Challenge, Penn State Office of Physical Plant, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Winkler Lab members

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