Power Down Hour

Posted: June 18, 2013 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: June 19, 2013 at 7:07 am

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George Mason University’s Office of Energy Management is asking students, faculty and staff on the Fairfax Campus to lower their energy usage during the annual Lights Out – Power Down! event on Thursday, June 20, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Community members will be asked to turn off and unplug, if appropriate, all noncritical lighting and electrical loads prior to and during the one-hour event to kick off the university’s summer electrical demand management program.

Energy-saving tips include:

  • Turning off office, common areas and hallway lights;
  • Turning off personal computers and peripherals not in use;
  • Turning off shared electronics (televisions, projectors, copiers, fax machines, etc.) when not in use;
  • Unplugging appliances when not in use; and
  • Turning off laboratory equipment not in use.

As a large consumer of electricity, Mason has enrolled in Interruptible Load Reliability (ILR), a demand response program that pays customers in exchange for a commitment to reduce electrical load in the event of an electrical grid emergency that could result in outages.  Over the past four years, Mason has received $300,000 from the program.  This year, Mason has set 2,000 kilowatts as its reduction commitment.

Participants must successfully demonstrate for one hour the ability to meet their load reduction commitment.  Lights Out – Power Down! will coincide with Mason’s scheduled demonstration test.

Campus electric consumption will be monitored by Facilities Management and EnergyConnnect, an overseer of ILR, before, during and after Lights Out – Power Down!

This initiative is part of Mason’s commitment to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, and every year thereafter as outlined in the President’s Climate Action Commitment and the university’s Sustainability Policy.

For more information, contact Patrick Buchanan, the university energy manager, at pbuchan2@gmu.edu.

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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