2011 Winter Break Power Down

November 30, 2011

The University of Chicago Power Down is a campus-wide initiative to reduce unnecessary energy consumption over winter break. Electrical devices significantly contribute not only to the University's utility bills, but also its carbon footprint. Increasingly, faculty, staff, and students are helping to mitigate the environmental impact by turning off, unplugging, and powering down their work and living space over the holidays.

With over 35,000 faculty, staff, and students at the University and the Medical Center, the energy savings can be impressive! Almost all electrical devices continue to draw power when plugged into an outlet. For example, any device with a remote control draws power while on "standby." Any charger with an adapter, such as a laptop or phone charger, also draws a small amount of power even when the device is unattached. These small electricity drains add up when aggregated across the campus.

What You Should Power Down and Unplug

  • Holiday lights and other decorative lights
  • Computer monitors       
  • Laptops, computers, and chargers*
  • Computer speakers
  • Printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines
  • Office AV equipment
  • Phone chargers
  • Coffee makers, microwaves, and other kitchen appliances
  • Clock radios
  • Televisions, DVD, and CD Players

Thank you for helping to make the University of Chicago more sustainable. Energy conservation is an important priority for the University, and one that can't be achieved without your help. This is the University's third consecutive Winter Break Power Down. We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues, co-workers, and friends. If you have any questions about sustainability at the University, please contact us.

* Please consult your system Administrator before entirely powering down your computer, as vital software updates and backups may necessitate that your computer remain on in some capacity. For those managed by IT Services, please set your computer to sleep mode.