Save Energy and Stay Safe This Summer

Dear Members of the Columbia Community,

With New York City experiencing excessive heat and humidity this summer, Columbia University Facilities would like to remind you what we are doing to reduce energy consumption during these hot months and what you can do to help.

During the day, we are optimizing the use of our chiller plant to cool buildings and minimize our system's electrical power demands. We are also monitoring our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems' performance. Please note that Facilities staff is on hand to provide fast responses to service requests and emergencies, and our Facilities Services 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 speeds to the lowest setting possible and keep thermostats as high as possible for energy conservation.
  • Keep exterior doors, windows, shades and blinds closed.
  • Turn lights, appliances, and electronics off when not needed.
  • Utilize natural light when possible.
  • Report service problems to the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.

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

  • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light-colored clothing reflects away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella.
  • Drink water, sports drinks, or other sources of electrolytes. Carry beverages with you and consume them 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 and utilize public cooling centers as needed.

Find out about Columbia University Facilities' additional energy initiatives by visiting

Get more energy saving tips from Con Edison at

Enjoy the summer and stay safe.


Frank Martino
Vice President, Operations
Columbia University Facilities