Campus to ‘Power Down’ for Big Energy Savings - Humboldt State Now

Campus to ‘Power Down’ for Big Energy Savings

Humboldt State can save energy and reduce emissions by powering down ventilation systems, switching off office equipment and take other steps that will have cause minimal disruption and be generally unobtrusive.

That’s the message students from the Green Campus program are eager to share. Green Campus, part of HSU’s Office of Sustainability, is preparing a series of Power Down HSU events throughout the spring semester. On March 3, March 31, and April 21 the campus community will be asked to find ways to save energy. This upcoming event on March 3 will be held between 1 and 5 p.m.

Even though the behind-the-scenes decrease in energy consumption will produce the most energy savings, steps that faculty, staff, and students can take is just as important. In order for this event to be successful and to have more energy savings than November’s Power Down, Green Campus students are asking for active participation. Ways to save energy are detailed in the Green Campus pledge for Power Down HSU.

Molly Daly, who studies Environmental Policy through the Department Environmental Science and Management and is a team leader of the Green Campus program, says that simply being aware of how much energy office equipment uses goes a long way toward reducing HSU’s energy costs. “We use so much electricity through our electronics, our monitors, and printers, that having a power-down day is where we can make the biggest and most immediate impact.”

According to Green Campus, in 2013, electricity contributed 23 percent of HSU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

TallChief Comet, director of the Office of Sustainability, adds that simple efforts can add up in a big way. “The hardest part of energy conservation is changing behaviors and culture around using energy,” says Comet. “Students in Green Campus are encouraging the campus community to embrace using less electricity by continuing occasional campus-wide Power Down activities to demonstrate that working together can make a measurable difference.”

The bulk of the energy-saving efforts won’t be visually noticeable. “The power down will mostly happen behind the scenes,” Daly says. “Facilities Management will decrease power to the heating and ventilation systems, but other than reduced air circulation, you shouldn’t notice it.”

In November, Green Campus, then known as PowerSave Campus at HSU, and Facilities Management held a power-down event that saved 1,466.05 kilowatt-hours. Put another way, shutting down office equipment, lights, and mechanical systems prevented 801 pounds in carbon dioxide emissions, and saved more than $175 in energy costs.

Units across campus participated in November’s Power Down. HSU faculty members dimmed lights in classrooms and held labs outside to take advantage of natural lighting. “Overall, the feedback was very positive,” says Daly. The efforts were recorded on the group’s Instagram feed at

For more information, visit