How UMBC Saves Energy & How You Can Too!


Energy used for heating, cooling, and lighting on campus has a significant impact on UMBC’s Carbon Footprint. UMBC is actively working to reduce the amount of energy the campus uses and you too can contribute to the university’s efforts to reduce energy use and carbon emissions! Learn more about some of the current efforts on campus to reduce energy (below) and take moment to review the future of energy at UMBC as outlined in the Net-Zero Energy Plan.

Energy Saving Measures and Strategies

  • Keep windows and exterior doors closed to keep air conditioning inside.
  • Stay comfortable by dressing for the weather, instead of plugging in extra space heaters.
  • Do not use space heaters on campus. Facilities Management’s HVAC Shop may provide temperature space heaters if there is an issue with the heating system.
  • Keep equipment (such as copiers or PCs) and large furniture away from thermostats.
  • UMBC’s setpoints are 70°F in the heating season (winter) and 76° F in the cooling season (summer)
  • These are consistent with federal/state guidelines of 68° F in winter and 78°F in summer.
  • Setpoints are set by Facilities Management for centrally controlled systems.
  • Please notify Work Control (410-455-255) to report a room or area, that is beyond the range of 68° F and 78°F.
  • Spaces with critical temperature requirements (such as research labs), can request an exception to the campus standards by contacting Facilities Management.
  • Turn off the lights when artificial light is not needed.
  • On hot, sunny days, you can partially close the shades or blinds to reduce the solar heat gain.
  • Use task lighting, in lieu of ceiling lighting, when working in specific areas.
  • UMBC is working to reduce the amount of decorative lighting on campus by limiting it to specific applications such as retail areas or exhibition areas.
  • Make the switch from incandescent or fluorescent bulbs to LEDs. LEDs, on average, use 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescents.
  • When purchasing computers, monitors, electronic equipment, electrical appliances, etc., look for products with the following certifications:
    • R2 Certified or e-Stewards: requires certified companies to have a policy on managing used and end-of-life electronics equipment, components and materials based on strategies such as reuse, materials and energy recovery and/or disposal.
    • EPEAT Gold or Silver Certified: sets standards for the full product lifecycle, e.g, energy efficiency, reduction of toxic/hazardous materials, end-of-life management. The reduced electricity use by EPEAT-registered products makes their life-cycle cost significantly less than for non-registered products. 
    • ENERGY STAR: The EPA program provides information on the energy consumption of products and devices. 
  • Enable power management features on copiers, and other office, equipment so that they use little or no power during nights and weekends.
  • Share fridges and other appliances with our officemates and neighbors, rather than each person plugging in their own mini-fridge and coffeemaker in every room.
  • Unplug mobile device chargers when not in use. For example, a cell phone charger still uses energy even when a phone is not plugged in for charging.