Extreme Heat/ Energy-Saving Tips

In the face of summer heat waves, there is a greater risk for electrical blackouts due to increased energy use for air conditioning. Columbia University Facilities and Operations would like to remind you how you can help reduce energy consumption during the heat wave and throughout these hot summer months. Here are some things you can do:

July 07, 2016

You can help Columbia conserve and reduce the demand for energy by following these easy steps:

  • Turn off air conditioners when a room is unoccupied
  • Set air conditioner fan speeds to the lowest setting possible and keep thermostats at higher temperatures within comfort for energy conservation
  • Keep exterior doors, windows, shades and blinds closed
  • Turn lights, appliances and electronics off when not needed
  • Contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222 with any issues or concerns. We are here to help.


During the day, Facilities and Operations is optimizing the use of our steam chillers to cool buildings and minimizing the use of our electric chillers in order to reduce the total electric load on our system. At night, we are "pre-cooling" buildings, which reduces energy demand during peak daytime hours.

We also have Facilities and Operations staff on hand to provide a fast response to service requests and emergencies. Our Facilities Services Center (x4-2222) is prepared to handle increased client calls.


In addition to saving energy, keep in mind these additional tips from the American Red Cross to stay safe and cool this summer:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella.
  • Stay hydrated. Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.


Get more energy saving tips from Con Edison at www.coned.com/customercentral/energysavingtips.asp


We are here to help. Contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222 with any issues or concerns.

Enjoy the summer and stay safe.