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Power Down for Thanksgiving

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As we head into the season of overindulgence, UNH’s Energy Task Force reminds faculty and staff to underindulge in energy over Thanksgiving by powering down before leaving for the break. For many offices, powering down is as simple as switching off a power strip or surge protector. Other ways to power down include turning off all printers, photocopiers, and lab equipment; shutting off lights; and ensuring that windows are all closed.

“Many people don’t realize that electronics can draw up to 30 percent of their total energy use when they are turned off but still plugged in,” says Energy Task Force chair Paul Chamberlin, assistant  vice president for energy and campus development.

Powering down saves more than the planet. Previous power-down efforts, when combined with student energy savings challenges, have saved the university more than $10,000 of energy costs and reduced emissions by the equivalent of not driving five passenger cars for an entire year.

Petr Brym, security director for UNH IT, assures employees that their computers remain protected while their power strip is off. “While turned off, most computers are of course safer than if they are left turned on,” he says. “With the power strip turned off, and the computer plugged into the power strip, the computer would also be off.” For this reason, Brym suggests that employees turn off computers each night in addition to “powering down” on weekends and holidays.