Spring Break Energy Saving Tips

With spring break here, your office or res hall may be empty for a few days. Anytime you’re going to be away from your space for a few days, take a moment to think about devices that may be left on unnecessarily for the duration of your leave. To avoid wasting electricity, consider these energy saving ideas from the Office of Energy & Sustainability Student Ambassadors to help reduce our carbon footprint and make our campus community more sustainable. 

Tips for reducing energy waste in the office or res hall over this (or any) break:

  • Turn off computers, copiers and printers, as well as  other computer or lab equipment (don’t forget to shut the sash on fume hoods).

  • Eliminate vampire loads by unplugging idle electronics (such as chargers, printers, microwaves, display monitors, coffee makers, etc) or use a power strip to turn off all devices at once.

  • Turn off all the lights, even small task lights.

  • Be sure any operable windows are shut and locked.

Based on data collected from surveys in CWRU buildings, conserving electricity in university offices and res halls this spring break could save about $1,200 per day. Here is how much the university would be saving if your office used no power for 1-5 days.



Energy Savings Equivalent

Equivalent Value

1 day

1,313,712 Smartphones charged

2 round-trip flights from Cleveland to Europe (depending on pricing of course)

2 days

22,526 lbs of burned coal

14 Phantom of the Opera tickets at Playhouse Square

3 days

A carbon equivalent of 500 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

Over 30 meals for two at L’Albatros

4 days

100,000 miles driven by the average car

Over 50 tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra

5 days

Would power a standard Ohio home for 7 months

10% of CWRU tuition

Ways to continue saving energy in 2020:

  • Invest in “smart” power strips. These can be timer-equipped, current sensing, or occupancy sensing to reduce energy waste and sometimes have remote controls.

  • When choosing equipment and appliances, choose energy-efficient equipment that can be identified with the ENERGY STAR logo.

  • Consolidate printers and copiers and utilize centralized printing for your office suite. 

  • Activate sleep settings on all office machines. Suggested computer settings: display sleep after five minutes of inactivity and CPU sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity.

  • Avoid screensavers, especially those that use 3D effects, as they can consume even more energy than active mode.

  • Be sure to turn off lights when not in use or when natural daylight is sufficient, and use task-specific lighting where feasible. This can reduce lighting expenses by 10 to 40 percent.

  • Consider how your office makes coffee. Creating single servings of coffee one at a time is much less efficient than making a pot for the whole office.

The Office of Energy & Sustainability and their Student Ambassadors thank you for being mindful of your carbon footprint this Spring. Saving electricity one office at a time can make an important contribution towards the University’s carbon reduction goals.