UT Knoxville Introduces Ambitious Energy Conservation Policy

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, today announced a new energy conservation policy that will help the campus reach its goal of a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption.

The wide-ranging policy, announced jointly by UT Knoxville Interim Chancellor Jan Simek, Faculty Senate President John Nolt, Student Government Association President Jeff Wilcox and Graduate Student Senate President Julie Lynch, covers campus operations from lighting to water use to purchasing decisions. The goal, according to Simek, is to weave conservation and efficiency into the everyday life of UT Knoxville.

“In the midst of difficult budget times, we have benefited greatly from our efforts to be a more conservation-minded campus in recent years,” said Simek. “This policy cements those efforts and takes steps to keep UT Knoxville as a national leader in campus sustainability.”

If the campus meets its goal of a 10 percent energy savings this year, it would translate to a cost savings of roughly $2 million.

A centerpiece of the new policy is the creation of temperature set points for campus buildings. Effective immediately, temperatures in campus will buildings will be set to 68 degrees during warming seasons and to 76 degrees during cooling seasons.

Bringing the buildings in line with these set points could represent a major savings for the campus. Every degree change in the heating season shaves 2 percent from the overall energy use, while each degree change in cooling season saves 4 percent.

In conjunction with the policy’s announcement, faculty, staff and students across campus are renewing their efforts to help conserve energy as part of the Switch Your Thinking campaign, which was announced in September. All members of the campus community are taking steps to conserve, including turning off lights and computers when not in use.

Energy conservation efforts at UT Knoxville have been a major priority for a number of years as part of the campus’ Make Orange Green initiative. Among the major projects that have been completed in recent years or are under way now:

– Replacement of lighting systems in Stokely Management Center
– Upgrade of lighting systems in Hodges Library
– Installation of low flow plumbing fixtures campuswide
– Upgrade of steam valve controls campuswide

Implementation of the new energy conservation policy will begin this week.

The text of the policy can be found at http://facilities.utk.edu/policies. More information on Switch Your Thinking is available at http://utk.edu/features/switch.

Contact:

Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409, jay.mayfield@tennessee.edu)