Energy saving tips

While initiatives from facilities staff continue to improve the energy efficiency of buildings on campus, individual staff and students can help reduce campus energy use considerably through some very simple actions.

Take the stairs

Try to take the stairs rather than the lift, at least for when you are going up one level or down two. As well as saving energy, it's also a great way to help get fit and healthy.


Please switch off lights when:

  • you are the last to leave a communal room
  • (staff and postgraduate students) you leave your office for more than 15 minutes
  • there is sufficient daylight for you to work in.

Modern electronic ballasts (the starter for fluorescent tubes) are very efficient compared to earlier models and can be turned on and off many thousands of times. According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the break-even point at which electricity savings outweigh the cost of decreasing lamp life is 10-15 minutes.

Many of the lecture theatres on campus have motion sensors that turn lights off after a certain time if no one is in the room, but smaller lecture theatres and offices are not equipped with these.

Computers and electrical equipment

Staff - it is recommended that you:

  • Turn the brightness of your LCD computer monitor down to 50% (or as close to that as is comfortable). For brightness, look for the ‘sunshine’ symbols and arrows on the monitor.
  • Ensure that the standby/sleep/suspend function has been enabled on your computer. This can more than halve the power used by a computer overnight compared with just logging off. To change the power management features in Windows 7 go to the control panel, select ‘power options’ and select the ‘power schemes’ tab. Choose the minimum power management scheme. Then select the ‘turn off monitor’ option to a shorter time, say 10 minutes.
  • If practicable, shut down your computer over night (unless it needs to remain on for some reason).
  • Unplug all external devices (e.g., for ipods, cameras, phones, batteries) when not in use.
  • Turn your computer off at the wall over weekends and holidays.

If you need assistance with the power management options on your computer, please contact the ICT Support.

When not to switch off a computer

In most cases, it is fine for office computers to be turned off over night. Workroom computers are shut down automatically each night.

A computer many need to be left on if it:

  • Acts as a server
  • Needs to run a programme overnight (including systems maintenance)
  • Needs to be accessed remotely
  • Is old and problems have been encountered when switching it on and off

Ask your ICT support staff if you are unsure.

Student computer labs

When one person walks into a computer lab, they automatically activate air-conditioning and lighting for that area, which represents 30-40% of the lab's total electricity consumption. Please work in computer labs that are already in use.