Office of Sustainability

Turn It Off Program

Turn It Off is Brandeis' annual program to reduce campus electricity usage on the region's hottest days of the summer.

On the days that are predicted to be the summer’s hottest and most humid — we anticipate there will be two to six of these days each year — we ask students and employees to shut exterior windows, lower window shades, shut off unnecessary computers and other electronics, and take other measures to preserve energy.

Please note that on Turn it Off days, air conditioning remains on in every building, albeit at slightly higher temperatures, with the exception of the buildings listed below.

Why It's Important

Reducing electricity use during peak times results in significant financial savings to the university.  The Turn It Off campaign also demonstrates that individual conservation actions do add up to meaningful results​​. ​​

Buildings Impacted by Turn It Off

All buildings on campus are part of the Turn It Off program, with the exception of the following:

  • Abelson-Bass-Yalem Building
  • Bassine Biology Building
  • Edison-Lecks Chemistry Building
  • Feldberg data center (rest of building is impacted)
  • Foster Bio-Medical Research Center
  • Goldsmith Math Building
  • Kosow-Wolfson-Rosensweig Biochemistry Building
  • Landsman Research Facility (Superconducting Magnet Facility)
  • Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center
  • Carl J. Shapiro Science Center
  • Stoneman Infirmary
  • Volen National Center for Complex Systems

How You Can Help

On the days that are predicted to be the summer’s hottest, we will ask you to:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights in offices, classrooms, laboratories and hallways.
  • Shut windows and exterior doors.
  • Pull down shades and close blinds.
  • Shut off unnecessary computers, printers and other energy-consuming equipment.
  • Refrain from charging portable devices.
  • Unplug everything you can from wall outlets, even if the device is shut off.
  • Be tolerant of higher temperatures across the entire campus as we raise building temperatures a bit between 3 and 6 p.m. (The temperature inside particularly temperature-sensitive areas will not be raised.)

And remember: Before you go on vacation, take as many of the energy-saving steps as you can proactively, in case a Turn It Off day is declared while you’re away.

How You'll Be Notified

Please look for an email alert and signage in your building that announces a Turn It Off day. This is your signal to take steps that are good for the Earth and good for Brandeis.

It is difficult to predict with certainty when the annual system peak will occur. We know that it will be during the summer when commercial air conditioning is operating at its maximum. This means that the peak will most likely occur on one of the hottest, most humid days of the year, during the mid-to-late afternoon hours. We also know that as more and more people install solar generation on their homes and businesses, peak loads occur later and later on those days.


Thanks to the efforts of our community, the Turn It Off program has resulted in an average reduction of 20% below our baseline year's peak electricity demand. 

Year Brandeis Peak Electricity Demand (kW) Change over baseline year
2014 8.3 Baseline year
2015 6.8 -18%
2016 6.7 -20%
2017 7.2 -13%
2018 7.4 -11%
2019 6.4 -23%
2020 5.6 -33%