Empty classroom vs full classroom

Saving Energy During Holidays

The Energy Conservation Office is proactive in reducing energy waste on holidays. By leveraging the campus’s complex digital building control system, our engineers implement special holiday schedules and temperature setpoints for building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The result is more HVAC systems are given a holiday too, and room temperatures are allowed to drift. These holiday savings and setbacks only affect administrative and classroom spaces and exclude laboratory and animal spaces.

Full bike racks vs. Empty bike racks

You wouldn’t leave your home’s heating or cooling systems on while you go on vacation. It would continue to run as scheduled and be an utter energy waste.

- Sam Cole, Energy Project Engineer


During the holidays, some buildings are left completely vacant, which means they don't need their temperatures controlled as tightly. Therefore, temperature settings in these buildings are relaxed significantly during the holidays. The HVAC system will kick on if it gets too hot or too cold (say, above 85-90°F, or below 55-60°F). This is to both "protect" the building and prevent building temperatures from drifting too cold or hot in case someone shows up during the holiday. The relaxed temperature settings also prevent long warm-up or cool-down times after the holidays, e.g. shortening the time for a building to return to normal operations after the holidays.  


Saving Energy In-between Academic Quarters

The week(s) in between academic quarters, or intersession periods, have potential for energy savings. Intersession shutdowns occur during times of the year when some of our buildings get their very own winter, spring, and summer breaks.

Many buildings are unused in between academic terms or have shorter operating hours, and we take advantage of that by adjusting our HVAC systems accordingly and letting them get a bit of rest after a quarter of hard work. This includes portions of our libraries, our lecture halls, and our classroom spaces.

Empty classroom vs. a full classroom

Check out the savings from holiday shutdowns since 2017 on the Energy Dashboard.

If you are interested in having your building participate in the shutdowns, please reach out to your building manager, or Sam Cole, secole@ucdavis.edu for more information.