AU makes great efforts to reduce energy consumption, utilize clean energy, and increase energy efficiency. Participation from the AU community is critical to energy conservation.
The easiest, cheapest, and most immediate thing a person can do is to change behavior.
Keep in mind and convey to others that small actions taken consistently make a big difference!
Turn off lights when not needed or in unoccupied areas.
Adjust thermostats. Even just a few degrees go a LONG way.
Make sure windows and doors are shut properly. Openings in a building can be devastating to energy performance during heating and cooling times.
Be sure to turn off appliances and devices when not in use.
Buy Energy Star rated appliances, devices, and equipment.
Enable energy saver settings on computers.
Report improperly functioning or broken windows, doors, and lights, and any irregular heating or cooling. Reporting helps to conserve energy and maintain occupant comfort. Issues should be reported to Facilities Management by emailing 2Fix@american.edu or calling 202-885-2349. Issues can also be submitted to 2Fix Online.
For those who want to go even further they can do the following.
Change conventional bulbs in task lighting to LED bulbs. There are many great LED bulbs to choose from. LEDs are available in different colors, different temperatures (measured in degrees kelvin; natural day light is around 5,000k), and function, including bulbs that can be controlled by a smart phone. Energy Star can help you learn more and choose the right lights for you.
Use a power strip. It can provide power-surge protection and help to save energy by plugging in equipment with parasitic loads. Parasitic loads come from equipment that draws power even when the device is off (e.g. computer monitors, phone chargers, anything that has a “sleep” mode, etc.). There are many great power strips to choose from. Power strips range in price, capacity, and function, including some that are WiFi and smart phone ready.