Reduce Energy Use in Heat Wave

Student studies beside a window in the D.H. Hill Library.

This week’s record-setting heat wave will challenge Duke Energy’s electrical grid, resulting in higher energy costs due to skyrocketing demand. Duke Energy has notified NC State that it anticipates the need to implement strategies that reduce electricity demand, particularly during peak daytime hours.

To help maintain electricity supply in our region and limit additional university expenditures, please limit nonessential campus energy use through Friday, June 19:

  • Turn off and unplug office equipment, appliances and lab equipment that are not vital or not in use
  • Ensure all exterior windows and doors are closed
  • Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use
  • Close lab fume hood sashes that are not in use
  • Avoid setting indoor temperature controls under 72°F
  • Shift electricity-intense activities to “off-peak” hours (after 8 p.m.) whenever possible

These actions will save energy on campus and help avoid regional power outages during extreme heat. Questions and concerns may be sent to

2 responses on “Reduce Energy Use in Heat Wave

  1. D. E. Aspnes says:

    If I recall correctly, when I had a lab in RB-2, external air used in the building was processed by first cooling it to 55 degrees then heating it back up to whatever temperature that the thermostat was set. This was done as a means of controlling humidity.

    Given this procedure, energy consumption would be reduced by setting the thermostat at 55 degrees to avoid the reheating part of the procedure. Setting it higher would only make things worse.

    You might want to check this out to see whether this is still being done, and if so, whether it is also being done for other buildings. If it is, your advice on energy-efficient settings for internal temperatures is exactly backwards.

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