Powering Down for COVID-19 (March 2020)

Campus Sustainability Office March 16, 2020

How to Power Down Before You Go

Dear Cornell faculty, students, and staff,

Before you leave campus for an extended period of remote work, or as you prepare to vacate campus for the remainder of the semester, please take the following actions:

  • Turn off power strips and unplug any electronics plugged directly into the wall. Many devices use electricity even when “turned off,” including TVs, printers, chargers, copiers, coffee makers, microwaves, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Switch off all lights 
  • Shut all windows & shades
  • Close all interior and exterior doors
  • Completely close fume hood sashes in labs. Lab managers should look for additional guidance in the coming days on how to hibernate fume hoods not in use during reduced research schedules.  Fume hoods are responsible for 50% of building energy use on campus.
  • Report facilities issues like leaky faucets, running toilets, overly hot or cold rooms. Questions? Contact: fcsrequests@cornell.edu
  • Remind colleagues and students to take these actions before they leave, too.

Our collective actions help the campus run efficiently in a reduced capacity.  Last year, you saved 1.08 million kWh of electricity during just one week of winter shutdown, equivalent to eliminating 91 homes’ energy use for one year, growing 12,600 trees, switching 29,000 light bulbs to LEDs, or charging 97,300,000 smartphones. The impact is huge.

For more on how to save energy at home, you can browse our Sustainability Life Recipes, which offer tips for how to save money and reduce your environmental impact wherever you are.

Be well,

Sarah Zemanick, Director, Campus Sustainability Office