A service of Campus Operations

Crazy KU Fans

Let’s be honest, we are all probably familiar with the common energy saving do’s and don’ts, and yet we don’t always follow through with them. Why is that? Do we forget? Or do we assume that our actions don’t add up to that much?

Here are some energy actions, useful tools to help overcome our common barriers to being energy efficient.

Flip It Off:

You’ve heard, “shut off the lights when you leave the room,“ but do you? We can give you a KU light switch reminder sticker to help! Just email energy@ku.edu. We’ll deliver it, and even put it on for you! The sticker will not only serve as a personal reminder, but as a reminder to your quests to take these behaviors with them when they go.

  • If you ensure that just 3 lights around your workspace are switched off every night, each year you could save as much CO2 as produced by a car trip from Lawrence to Nashville.

Bright Idea:

Have a desk lamp or task light in your office? Quickly look to see if it has a CFL. If not, shoot us a quick email at energy@ku.edu, and we’ll replace it! A compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) uses 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb.

  • If every U.S. home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR® efficient light bulb, the amount of energy saved could light more than 3 million homes for a year and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of about 800,000 cars.

If It’s Not In Use, Turn off the Juice:

Don’t forget to turn off your computer and monitor when you leave work to eliminate wasted energy. Need a reminder? We can send you a prompt and you can use an automatic shutdown setting in case you forget to shut off your computer when you leave work.

  • Keep in mind that the monitor uses more energy than the hard drive does.  Be sure to shut down both components each night! Need a smart strip? We can send you one.

Sleepy time:

Use these instructions if you’re away from your desk to quickly change the settings to sleep after 15 minutes. Worried it’s hard on the computer to shut it down?  Older computers did experience wear and tear, but today’s technology does just fine being turned on and off thousands of times throughout their life. 

  • In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. The average desktop computer idles at 80 watts, while the average laptop idles at 20 watts. A Sony PlayStation 3 uses about 200 watts and nearly as much when idle. Idle power consumes more electricity than all the solar panels in America combined.

Content as Goldilocks:

Are you too hot, too cold, or just right? Know that temperatures may fluctuate in your space but won’t get higher than 76oF in the summer or lower than 69 oF in the winter during occupied hours. Those set-points are outlined in campus policy. If your space is too hot or too cold, please reported it as soon as possible to Facilities Services at 785-864-4770. Visit the Temperature Controls webpage for more information.

Not a fan:

If you have a desk fan, be sure to shut it off at night. Leaving your fan running overnight throughout the summer wastes enough energy to:

  • run an LCD TV over the same period.
  • power your iPhone for 25 years.
  • power your laptop for a year.

Pull yourself together:

Closing your curtains or shades against in the incoming sun can also save you energy!

  • In winter, departments can obtain plastic film from Facilities Services to cover single pane windows. This film may be installed by departments or by Facilities Services as a billable service. Calll 785-864-4770

A bunch of hot air:

Electric space heaters can significantly interfere with the building’s main heating system – depending on locations, using an electric heater can send a message to the thermostat that this part of the building is at temperature or too warm, meaning that the central heating shuts down! This makes the user of the heater and their colleagues feel even colder. If you have a space heater, be sure to take it home; KU policy highly discourages usage.

  • Electric space heaters can produce twice as much greenhouse gas as central heating.
  • Running an electric space heaters can be up to three times as expensive as central heating.

Thumb ‘Prints’:

Nominate yourself to power down the printer after work each day. Talk with your office manager and be sure to notify your office when the printer will be shut down. Take initiative and get a thumbs up! It will also help your office achieve a “Green Office Level”.

  • A photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1500 copies. (The Carbon Trust)


Notice a water leak? Report it here.

  • A hot water faucet that leaks one drop per second can add up to 165 gallons a month. That’s more water than the average person uses in two weeks!

Take it home:

Use these energy actions at home.

  • The television sets in the U.S. collectively draw the power equivalent of a Chernobyl-sized nuclear plant when they are turned OFF! They use this power for their instant-on capacity, so we don’t have to wait a minute or two for our screens to warm up. Use a power strip but be sure to turn it off when you’re not watching tv.