Policy Steward: Vice President for Administration


  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Policy
  • .... Lighting
  • .... Interior Environment
  • .... Computers
  • .... Office Equipment
  • .... Appliances
  • .... Fume Hoods
  • Review
  • Responsibilities
  • Further Information
  • Cross References


    To establish guidelines and practices that will lower the University’s energy consumption, reduce expenditures on energy, and support greenhouse gas reduction goals.


    The policy is applicable to all Penn State employees and students.

    This policy is applicable to all Penn State owned or leased facilities at all locations except the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Pennsylvania College of Technology.


    1. Lighting

    2. Interior Environment
      • Every effort will be made to maintain the occupied temperature in all University facilities at 70 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees in the summer. This excludes areas that currently are not heated or cooled and areas with special environmental needs.
      • The temperature during low occupancy or unoccupied periods in all University facilities will be allowed to cool down to 60 degrees in the winter and warm up to 85 degrees in the summer. This excludes areas that currently are not heated or cooled and areas with special environmental needs.
      • Employees and students with manual control of the equipment that heats or cools their space shall operate the equipment so that the least amount of energy is consumed (example, operate window air conditioning units only when the spaces are occupied).
      • Every effort will be made to improve the utilization of our buildings by consolidating activities from lower utilized buildings into higher utilized buildings. This will allow building heating, ventilating and air conditioning system run times to be reduced, resulting in energy savings.
      • Only Office of Physical Plant (OPP) or Housing and Food Service (HFS) issued portable electric heaters are permitted at University Park. Portable electric heater use at locations away from University Park must be approved by the campus budget executive, or designee, on a case by case basis.

    3. Computers
      • Computer power management software shall be enabled to minimize the operation and consumption of electricity when computers are not in use. This excludes computers performing unique computational functions.
      • Computers purchased with University funds are required to be ENERGY STAR and EPEAT labeled unless suitable justifications are approved by the appropriate budget executive. Energy saving features shall be enabled.
      • Peripheral equipment shall be turned off whenever possible.
      • Students are encouraged to turn off and unplug gaming consoles when not in use (some brands use almost as much turned off as when turned on).

    4. Office Equipment
      • All powered office equipment shall be turned off or placed in standby when not in use, unless it is detrimental to the operation of the equipment to do so. Items such as copiers, printers, calculators, shredders, etc., should be turned off at the end of the work day.
      • Office equipment quantities shall be reduced through consolidation to central locations for shared use whenever possible.
      • Office equipment purchased with University funds is required to be ENERGY STAR labeled unless approved by the responsible budget executive.

    5. Appliances
    6. Fume Hoods


    An Energy Conservation Policy Advisory Committee will evaluate and recommend policy revisions when appropriate. Membership on this committee shall be appointed by the Associate Vice President for Physical Plant and consist of a broad cross section of the University community.


    University Employees and Students - are responsible for:

    1. Recognizing that energy conservation is important to the University’s fiscal health and environmental goals.
    2. Complying with the policy.
      • Take actions to conserve energy and reduce energy waste.
      • If employees or students have ideas on energy conservation or wish to report energy waste, they should:

    Budget Executives - are responsible for:

    1. Communicating this policy to everyone within their jurisdiction.
    2. Including energy conservation procedures in orientation programs.
    3. Designating a person to be responsible for energy conservation. This involves being a point of contact for department personnel to report energy conservation issues and to work with the Office of Physical Plant to implement energy conservation measures.
    4. Implementing the policy.

    Supervisory Personnel - are responsible for:

    1. Coaching employees to comply with this policy and communicating the results of their organization’s energy conservation efforts to staff on a regular basis.
    2. Recognizing and celebrating successes.

    The Office of Physical Plant - is responsible for:

    1. Chairing the Energy Conservation Policy Advisory Committee and appointing members.
    2. Monitoring energy consumption and providing summary reports to stakeholders.
    3. Developing and monitoring programs to affect energy consumption reductions.
    4. Developing detailed Energy Conservation Policy implementation directives.

    The Energy Conservation Policy Advisory Committee - is responsible for:

    1. Providing recommendations regarding Energy Conservation Policy revisions.
    2. Monitoring energy consumption to determine additional actions as may be appropriate.
    3. Recommending detailed energy conservation implementation directives to the Associate Vice President for Physical Plant.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Physical Plant, Energy and Engineering.


    AD38 - Administration of University Physical Facilities

    Effective Date: July 08, 2009
    Date Approved: July 06, 2009
    Date Published: July 07, 2009 (Editorial change, February 13, 2015)

    Most recent changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    | top of this policy | GURU policy menu | GURU policy search | GURU home | GURU Tech Support | Privacy and Legal Statement | Penn State website |