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February 2, 2010

Dear Purdue colleagues,

At last month’s Sustaining New Synergies open forum, you heard about a few initiatives that will help Purdue address our immediate reduction in state appropriations. One of those initiatives is energy conservation.

Many members of our campus community recognized the opportunity for energy savings early on, and have provided valuable suggestions over the past few months. Those contributions combined with our ongoing Energy Conservation Program and new plans developed by our Physical Facilities team provide a framework that will reduce overall campus energy consumption and achieve significant savings.

Purdue has been working to reduce campus energy consumption, but in comparison to our peers, our levels are still high. Our projections show that two specific efforts – adjustments to building control systems and reduction of electricity usage – could result in substantial reductions in energy consumption.

The first step in our energy conservation initiative is to customize building control systems (temperatures and operating schedules of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment) without investment in new equipment or services.

Each campus building has diverse uses and needs, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. Therefore, effective immediately Physical Facilities will begin working with building deputies to assess building-specific modifications. Examples include:

• Reduction of heating and/or cooling in non-research spaces
• Significant reduction of heating and/or cooling in non-critical spaces
• Adjustments to temperature schedules to match class and work hours (heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will start up later and shut down earlier in the day)

The second step in our energy initiative is focused on the reduction of electricity usage in unoccupied or non-critical areas. In the coming weeks, a "Lights Out" campaign will build awareness and energize the campus community to turn off unnecessary lighting and power down electrical equipment. This will require all of us to look for opportunities to reduce our own energy consumption. For example, you can have a direct effect on our campus-wide savings by turning off lights and taking home space heaters and small refrigerators.

Additionally, we will develop an online resource to provide updates on energy conservation. The site will feature monthly reports on energy consumption, helpful information about how you can participate, and a method for feedback.

Our goal is to provide the most productive environment for our academic and research needs, while improving our environmental stewardship and responding to our budget challenge. With your help, these energy conservation efforts could save up to $2 million annually.

The success of this effort depends on the active participation of all faculty and staff. Everyone on campus can make a real contribution to energy savings every day. You can make a difference!

Sincerely,

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Ken L. Sandel
Project Manager, Sustaining New Synergies Task Force