Energy Conservation Guidelines


Not sure how to conserve energy in your office? These guidelines will give you some helpful ideas on how to reduce your electricity use.

General Guidelines

  • Assign a Conservation Coordinator to analyze energy needs, identify energy conservation opportunities, and monitor energy usage.

  • In air-conditioned buildings, keep doors and windows closed (when not in use) to prevent loss of conditioned air.

  • Schedule energy-intensive processes, operations, research, etc. for night-time hours (since electricity shortages occur during the afternoon and evening hours).

  • If possible, use stairs instead of elevators.


  • Turn off non-essential and decorative lighting, especially in unoccupied areas.

  • Turn off all personal task lighting every night and every weekend.

  • If you are the last person leaving a bathroom or conference room, turn off the lights.

  • Turn off all unnecessary lighting in corridors.

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (contact Facilities Management).

  • Paint dark walls and ceilings with lighter colors to maximize the effect of existing light sources.

  • Use day-lighting from windows or skylights, instead of electrical lighting, when you can.

Office Equipment

  • Turn off PCs, monitors, printers, copiers, and lights every night and every weekend. If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.

  • When purchasing PCs, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, consider Energy Star models that "power down" after a user-specified period of inactivity.

  • Use laptop computers where possible; they consume 90 percent less energy than desktop computers.

  • Enable the energy savings options on existing office equipment.

  • If appropriate, use ink-jet printers; they consume 90% less energy than laser printers.

  • Implement paper-reducing strategies such as double-sided printing as a default.

  • Use e-mail instead of sending paper memos and faxing documents.

  • Use shared LAN laser printers instead of individual laser printers.

  • Use central departmental coffee makers and refrigerators instead of personal units.

Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • If you have control of your thermostat (many buildings have remote HVAC controls), adjust the thermostat to 68 degrees or below for heating to start and to 76 degrees or higher for the cooling to start.

  • Make sure all HVAC systems under your direct control are turned off every night and every weekend.

  • Keep vents closed in unoccupied areas to prevent unnecessary heating and cooling.

  • Do not use personal electric heaters or air conditioning units.

  • Close shades or blinds to block solar heat gains.

  • Do not tamper with locked thermostat covers