Conserving Energy During the Heat Wave - July 31, 2006

July 31, 2006

Dear Colleague,

With extremely high temperatures forecasted through Thursday, Con Edison is expecting record power-use levels this week and is urging New Yorkers to conserve electricity. We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you what we are doing to reduce energy consumption during the heat wave, and what you can do to help.


During the day, we are optimizing the use of our central plant steam driven chillers to cool buildings and minimizing the use of our electric chillers in order to reduce the total electric load on our system. During the night, we are "pre-cooling", or cooling buildings overnight, which reduces energy demand during peak daytime hours.

We will also have additional Facilities staff on hand to provide faster response to service requests and emergencies. Our new Facilities Service Center (x4-2222) is prepared to handle increased client calls.


You can help Columbia conserve by following these easy steps:

  • Turn off air conditioners when a room is unoccupied
  • Set air conditioner fan speed to the lowest setting possible
  • Keep exterior doors, windows, shades and blinds closed as much as possible
  • Turn lights and appliances off when not needed


Stay safe and cool this summer with these tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear light lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Stay indoors when possible


Read the Con Edison press advisory at


We are here to help. Contact the new Facilities Services Center at x4-2222 with any issues or concerns.

Enjoy the summer and stay safe.


Matthew Early

Chief Operations Officer

Columbia University Facilities