Energy Conservation

With nearly 14,000,000 gross square feet of building space and nearly 400 acres covered by miles of pedestrian and vehicular pathways, the energy needs to heat, cool and light the academic, administrative and student operations are at Georgia Tech are inevitably large. Like a small city with up to 25,000 staff, students, residents and visitors on campus, most are engaged in critical or recreational activities that consume energy. Few pay the utility bills, but all contribute to the cost of energy consumption that is covered by tuition, room and board, and other fees.

Conservation succeeds through the cooperation of two groups: the campus building managers and the users of the buildings. Building managers strive to keep their building systems operating efficiently and when funds are available, pursue energy conservation renovations to reap pay-offs in future years. Building managers often know the size of their utility bills. Building users do not. Building users occupy spaces on campus for research, class work, parties, sleeping, eating, and dozens of other pursuits. Most often, no one pays attention to how the energy is being consumed and whether any of it can be saved --- so, you see, every one pays by doing nothing.

$?,000,000 Annually

The daily choices all residents make do add up. Close to $10 million dollars annually for steam, water and electricity are used by housing facilities alone! Our costs each day are even higher when we sometimes don't even need to use energy. For example, we are charged a higher kilowatt-hour rate by the local power company for electric consumption during peak-demand periods, namely weekdays during business hours.

Energy conservation not only saves our environmental resources but, let's face it, it saves your money too. In residence halls, we are increasingly committed to finding and using better means to conserve or avoid energy costs. We need your help to be more successful.

Here's What We're Doing

We are now buying energy efficient florescent (mercury free) tubes and are retrofitting water appliances with water restriction valves that use low water consumption.

In our mechanical rooms we are installing new master control systems which will monitor more closely consumption and allow us to make adjustments without sacrificing resident comfort.

Some public spaces are being equipped with occupancy sensors to reduce lighting when rooms are empty.

We are expanding the metering attachments on each utility system to better analyze consumption and make appropriate changes.

Here's What You Can Do....

Most hallway lights in residence halls can be switched off during day-light hours. Thermostats in study rooms can be reset to a higher or lower temperature to use less energy at night or when not in use.

Most lights can be turned off in lounges and bathrooms when the last person leaves since many of these spaces have one light fixture on at all times for safety. Leave the circulating fan in your room's fan coil unit on (or on the lowest setting) when no one is in the room or else mildew and mold will grow causing other problems. Keep the temperature setting on the highest comfortable setting when someone is in the room to conserve energy. Cooling an empty room is a waste of energy.

In the heating season, some buildings have heating systems that are difficult to regulate. All rooms have heat convectors that have a control valve located under the front of the unit. The valve can be turned to open and close the heating water flow through the convector. Turn it open enough to reach a comfortable temperature in your room without having to open your window. Report stuck control valves to (404) 894-0520 if they cannot be opened or closed.

Never place your bed across the front of the room's convector. This blocks natural air convection through your room's heating unit and will make your room cooler.

What else can you do...?

Turn off room lights when you're not in. When studying, use your desk lamp, preferably with a fluorescent bulb, instead of the light in your room. Radios, televisions, computers and other electric devices do not need to be on when you're not in your room. Some residents add additional lighting in their rooms or apartments. Halogen torchiere lights are cheap, but are now prohibited. Fluorescent Torchiere lamps are now commonly available and produce equivalent light at 20% of electrical consumption. Use of fluorescent lamps will also decrease your fire hazard and keep your room more pleasant during the cooling season. Conserve water by taking shorter showers. Keep sink faucets and shower fixtures from dripping and report those that do. Open your blinds only when necessary and see that they are closed when the sun is directly beating down on the glass. Encourage others to conserve. Every person makes a difference. Share your energy conservation ideas with us at

Be energy conscious - a green world is our joint responsibility. Know what you do use or conserves natural resources. Our future generations may depend on the choices we make today. Be an Energy Watcher in your residence hall and on campus no matter where you are and what you're doing.