The University of Chicago Power Down is a campus-wide initiative to reduce unnecessary energy consumption during University breaks. Faculty, staff, and students can all help the University mitigate its environmental impact by turning off, unplugging, and powering down their work and living space over breaks. By powering down these devices, the University can help lower its carbon footprint and decrease its energy bills.
It’s that time of year again – time for the annual Winter Break Power Down! As you leave your residence hall or office for some well-deserved time off, take a moment to help the University save some energy and pay it forward to the environment this holiday season.
35,000 Strong for Energy Conservation
UChicago has over 35,000 faculty, staff, and students – which means 35,000+ people who can help the University save energy. To date, the Winter Break Power Down has reduced electricity consumption during the month of December an average of 11% in Max Palevsky Residential Commons, Stuart Hall, the Administration Building and Bartlett Dining Commons. That translates to 55,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) or $4,500, in savings each year.
Nearly every single electrical device continues to draw power as long as it’s plugged in. For example, anything with a remote control draws power while in "standby" mode – even if you and your roommates or colleagues are three states away. Any charger with an adapter also pulls a bit of power regardless of whether it’s attached to a laptop or phone. These small electricity drains may seem inconsequential, but they add up quickly when aggregated across the campus.
What to power down and unplug:
- Holiday 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 and alarm clocks
- Televisions, DVD, and CD Players
- Power strips
This is the University's fifth consecutive Winter Break Power Down – thank you to all participants for helping make the University of Chicago a more sustainable place to be! Energy conservation is an important priority for UChicago, and the University won’t meet its full potential for energy savings without your participation.
Please share this information with your colleagues, housemates, classmates and friends. If you have any questions, 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.