Cedarville University Energy Policy

Introduction

Cedarville University spends over $2 million annually on energy (electricity and natural gas). As a result, it is imperative that the campus adopts an energy policy to promote the conservation of energy – and the fiscal savings associated with that. This policy is designed to be a realistic and comprehensive document that identifies energy and water conservation as a significant issue for the entire campus community. This is especially needed during this time of volatile utility costs and tighter budgets. This document details steps that will be taken to address these issues and reach the energy efficiency goals of the University. This policy will be reviewed and updated periodically as public awareness, management techniques and technologies change.

Policy

Summer Demand Reduction Program — CU has signed an agreement with DPL, volunteering to reduce our energy usage during peak hours (12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) on days when the grid is close to being overloaded due to high energy demand (typically air conditioners). If an event occurs, it would require the University to reduce our peak demand by 1 Mw. This would be accomplished by turning off the chillers (air conditioning) in several of the largest buildings. Payments received from DPL as part of this program will be directed to energy conservation projects that will allow us to further reduce our energy footprint.

University Temperature Guidelines — To maintain reasonable comfort and lower energy expenditures, the University has established the following standards for comfort for heating and cooling. Summer thermostat settings (air conditioning) are to be 74-76 F. Winter settings (heating) are to be 68-70 F. You need to dress accordingly during both of these seasons.

Building Management — Windows and doors of conditioned spaces should be kept closed. Personal computers, other office equipment and lights should be turned off when not in use and power management features of personal computers should be enabled. Schedulers of classes, meetings, and other campus activities should endeavor to minimize energy use by concentrating meetings in the fewest buildings possible and, where appropriate, specifically those buildings that already have late night temperature setback (see Nighttime Setbacks below). Additionally, every faculty/staff member is asked to turn out the lights whenever they are the last person leaving a room.

Space Heaters — The use of personal (space) heaters is prohibited for many reasons:

  • Space heaters are a very costly means of heating;
  • Because of the way areas are zoned, use of space heaters in one area may actually cause others to be even colder since your area will tell the system there is enough warm air and it can stop heating all areas in that zone;
  • Use of space heaters can mask problems with the central heating system that need to be addressed by a technician. This is especially true if a space heater is used during the summer due to high air conditioning. And finally,
  • Space heaters can pose serious fire and safety hazards, even if they do automatically turn off if they are tipped over.

For these reasons, use of space heaters is prohibited.

Nighttime Setbacks — During the last couple of years, the energy management systems in many of the main buildings have been upgraded in a process that is ongoing. This system allows us to create setback modes where major energy systems are put in 'nighttime' mode and will not operate unless the temperature falls below 60 F (heating season) or rises above 82 F (cooling season).

For primarily administrative buildings i.e. Williams, Founders, etc., this setback will be set at 6:00 p.m. For buildings that are open in the evenings i.e. SSC, Callan, DMC, CBTS, etc. this setback will be at 11:30 p.m. If there are special areas that require constant or warmer temperatures even when the area is unoccupied, it is your responsibility to notify the Physical Plant department at the Service Center.

Together, these steps combined with the actions of every member of the University community, will permit greater control over operating schedules and temperatures, will reduce energy consumption, and will permit implementation of additional demand management strategies to reduce energy costs.

Lighting — Interior lighting will be fluorescent whenever possible. New energy-saving fixtures, lamps and ballasts will be used to replace existing less efficient lighting whenever economically feasible or appropriate. Exterior lighting will be high-pressure sodium or metal halide whenever possible. Decorative lighting will be connected to energy management systems to control when lights come on and go off. Task lighting, such as desk lamps, is recommended to reduce overall ambient lighting levels.

Switchover from Cooling to Heating — Facilities personnel perform required changeover from air-conditioning to heating in the fall. Because of the varying equipment installed throughout campus, buildings must be changed over individually. Facilities personnel performs the changeover on the basis of priorities established to (1) provide comfort to students living in University housing, (2) maintain required temperatures to protect equipment, and (3) serve the greatest number of individuals and activities. Heating may not begin until the outside air temperature has dropped below at least 55 F for five consecutive days. Temperature forecasts are also considered. Wide swings in temperature during the fall of the year as well have made this policy necessary due to the time and expense of converting over to heating mode.

Switchover from Heating to Cooling — Facilities personnel perform required changeover from heating to air-conditioning in the spring. Because of the varying equipment installed throughout campus, buildings must be changed over individually. Facilities personnel performs the changeover on the basis of priorities established to (1) provide comfort to students living in University housing, (2) maintain required temperatures to protect equipment, and (3) serve the greatest number of individuals and activities. Cooling may not begin until the outside air temperature has risen above at least 75 F for five consecutive days. Temperature forecasts are also considered. Wide swings in temperature during the spring of the year, as well as the time-consuming nature of the changeover, have made this policy necessary due to the time and expense of converting over to cooling mode.

Holiday Periods — A period of closure for the University offers a great opportunity to save money on utilities that can be spent in other areas. Past history has shown that very few people occupy the buildings for any substantial time during the holidays. With this in mind, buildings will be only minimally heated/cooled during holiday periods. For most holidays, this simply means that the nighttime setbacks will be extended. A building will not be officially open just because a few people may want to work or need to be in a building during the holiday period.

Water — Conservation of water is also important. Any leaks in restrooms, kitchens, or radiators should be immediately reported to the maintenance department. Continuous standing water outside could be an indication of a leaking pipe and this should be reported to maintenance as well.