Key to conservation

Driven by rising utility costs, tighter budgets and a growing imperative to preserve natural resources, Temple has instituted a new energy conservation policy designed to reduce energy and water consumption throughout the university community.

The policy, which was prepared by the offices of Sustainability and Facilities Management, was approved last week by President Ann Weaver Hart and is effective immediately. It provides regulations governing the use of a range of university resources, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; lighting; computer equipment; and water.

“We have a responsibility to be good stewards not only of our budgetary resources, but also of the earth’s natural resources,” said Hart. “This new policy will help create a culture of environmentally responsible action that will influence the health and sustainability of our society for generations.”

Among the conventions set forth in the policy are seasonal temperature ranges for university buildings and restrictions on open air ventilation and the use of space heaters, personal air conditioners and hotplates. The document also provides guidelines for acceptable lighting of offices and other rooms; for example, lights must be turned off by the last person leaving a space no matter how long they intend to be away.

“These regulations represent subtle but important changes in the way Temple operates,” said Vice President for Operations William Bergman. “But taken together they will produce savings in both the energy and budgetary resources we expend.”

The policy also mandates that university employees may purchase only appliances and equipment that are Energy Star certified when the rating exists within a particular product category. A government-backed program, Energy Star is designed to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Temple’s new regulation is consistent with an existing procurement policy established earlier this year after Hart signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, which prescribes measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over time.

“Changes in Temple’s environmental impact can only come with a degree of individual discipline and modest sacrifice,” said Sandra McDade, director of sustainability. “By using less energy, driving less and producing less trash, we can do our part to preserve the earth for future generations.”

To view the complete energy conservation policy, visit