As Cornell closed for the holidays between Dec. 25, 2015 and Jan. 3, 2016, many residence halls, offices, classroom buildings and laboratories turned down thermostats and found creative solutions to conserve energy. As a result, the university reduced its electric energy use by 30 percent, saving $168,000.
“Buildings throughout campus lowered temperature set points, saving electricity, saving costs and lowering carbon emissions,” said Erin Moore, sustainability engagement manager in Energy & Sustainability. “It’s a great way for colleges and units to avoid energy costs.
During the 2015 holiday closure, the university conserved an equivalent of 1,290 metric tons of carbon dioxide not sent into the atmosphere. On a typical week, Cornell uses the equivalent of 4,435 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
For the 2015 Energy Smackdown among residence halls between Nov. 16 and Dec. 19, Ecology House reduced its kilowatt-hour energy use by 27.9 percent, while Court-Kay-Bauer and Mews reduced usage by 23 percent. Risley Hall (22.9 percent), the Latino Living Center (19.1) and Akwe:kon (17.3) rounded out the top 5. In the residential contest, 16 buildings participated, for a total reduction of 92,083 kilowatt-hours and a savings of $8,287.
To check on energy usage statistics throughout campus, go to the Cornell Building Dashboard.
- Blaine Friedlander