Results From Our First Turn It Off Day

July 22, 2015

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

This past Monday was our first “Turn It Off” day, our new initiative to lower our energy consumption on the hottest — or "peak" — days of the summer.

I am extremely happy to report that it was successful beyond our expectations, and I am so appreciative of how our community rallied around this program. Through your collective efforts to turn off lights, close window shades, unplug unnecessary electronics and raise the temperature in our buildings for a few hours, we used 1,000 kilowatts an hour less than expected on a day that hot. That's an approximate 13 percent reduction on our first “Turn It Off” day, and we will continue to learn and get better at this effort to reach our goal of a minimum 20 percent reduction. In doing so, we are reducing air pollution on bad air-quality days and reducing our own carbon footprint — and we could eventually be saving as much as $300K per year.

Of course, reducing our energy consumption is not important only on these hottest days of the summer; it is important all year round. That is why you will see more and more conservation and sustainability efforts over the coming months and years. But these "peak" days are particularly important because Brandeis' electricity rates are partially based on the university's demand during summer's hottest days.

Enormous thanks to everyone who participated, in ways large and small. Particular thanks to Jim Gray, who has spearheaded the program, and his facilities team, led by Bob Avalle, for great leadership and coordination throughout the day. We will likely have a few more “Turn It Off” days over the summer, so there is more work to come. I am confident that our community will stay fully engaged in these efforts.  

Again, many thanks.