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High Heat Days

thermOn the hottest days of the year, the electrical grid can become overwhelmed with increased energy loads to cool and dehumidify buildings. When this happens the grid is forced to turn on additional, usually less efficient, power plants for extra electricity.

Brandeis's annual electricity rates are set based on the demand during these hottest "peak demand" days so reducing demand reduces utility costs.

We have developed a Demand Response program on peak demand days as part of Brandeis's overall energy conservation and climate change impact reduction strategy. This involves taking steps to support the electrical grid and cut energy use and further than our normal conservation efforts.

How You Can Help

Look for an email alerts on the peak demand days (usually some of the hottest days of the year). 

What extra efforts can you take?

Building managers play a crucial role energy savings, resetting schedules for major equipment and adjusting other building related mechanisms; however, your behavior to conserve energy is also a key component to success and in some older buildings, the only way to implement demand response energy savings.

  • Turn off all unnecessary electronic devices.
  • When gone for an hour or more, turn off computers, monitors, copiers, and printers whenever possible.
  • If you have a laptop, work from battery power.
  • Turn off all non-essential lights and use energy efficient task lighting in place of overhead lighting.
  • Raise the thermostat in your area by a few degrees, where applicable.
  • Close the window shades and blinds.
  • Use stairs instead of elevators if you are able.
  • Plan high-energy use meetings or events in the mornings.
  • Turn off laboratory equipment when not being used.
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Why participate?

  • Energy savings help combat climate change by reducing the University's environmental impact
  • Utility cost savings and lower demand charges on Brandeis's utility bill means more funds for research and other activities! Did you know we spend over 12 million dollars annually on energy?
  • Contributing to the stability of the New England power grid reduces the likelihood and consequences of forced brown outs/black outs.

Brandeis Highlights: Managing demand works!

To help alleviate local and regional power issues during extreme heat waves, Brandeis is enrolled in a voluntary demand response program with ISO New England.   Brandeis has committed to run some of its large emergency generators when called upon to reduce the demand it puts on the electrical grid.  This helps reduce the risk of brownouts and power overloads that can cause local and regional blackouts. 

Thanks to the Harvard Office of Sustainability for information.