Saving Energy

In 2021, Yale committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2035 and achieving zero actual carbon emissions by 2050.  Net zero will be attained by reducing campus emissions to 50% of 2005 levels and purchasing high-quality verifiable carbon offsets. Zero actual carbon emissions will be accomplished by fully minimizing campus emissions.  To achieve this goal, we are paying attention to our energy consumption and reducing energy whenever possible. These tips will help you save at home and on campus.

Best Practices

Using Technology

  • Save power: When replacing equipment, chose Energy Star options. Turn off equipment, projectors, and conference room screens when finished. If you work in a laboratory, turn off autoclaves and close fume hood sashes. Make sure all electronic equipment and power strips are turned off before holidays and breaks. 
  • Consolidate: Personal equipment can take up space and be expensive. Replace personal printers and old fax machines with shared multi-function units (copier/printer/fax). Yale Printing and Publishing Services offers a copier rental program to Yale departments. Ensure refrigerators are appropriately sized and downsize if frequently empty. 
  • Back it up and power down: Request a daytime backup schedule to allow you to shut down your computer at night. Make sure monitors are turned off when you are away from your computer. 

Temperature Control

  • Windows and blinds: Keep windows tightly shut during cold and hot weather. Storm windows should be lowered in the winter and blinds lowered at night to help regulate temperature. 
  • Staying comfortable: Follow the University’s policy for temperature setpoints (75⁰ in summer, 68⁰ in winter) to save energy. In addition, it is important to not use space heaters. If you are too hot or too cold, talk to your building manager or Facilities Superintendent about options to improve thermal comfort. 
  • While you’re away: Just like you, your building and its systems could use a rest now and then. Yale buildings are heated and cooled to comfortable temperatures during occupied hours, and turned to energy saving mode when unoccupied. If you need to work during off hours, look for a space that is conditioned at that time. 
  • Let your building manager or Facilities Superintendent know if your space is being conditioned during unoccupied hours. Also notify them if occupants will be away for more than a week (e.g. during Winter Recess), so that spaces can be set for unoccupied mode during that time.  


  • Maximize natural light exposure whenever possible. 
  • Make sure lights are off if you are the last person to leave a space. 
  • Notify your building manger or Facilities Superintendent if you notice occupancy sensors or vacancy sensors that are not working properly. 
  • Ensure desk and floor lamps have LED light bulbs installed for maximum efficiency. 

Meeting our goals

Yale Facilities works hard to continually improve energy infrastructure on campus. From efficiency improvements to siting renewable energy projects, their efforts are critical for our carbon emissions reduction strategy. Coupled with behavior change driven by individual actions and programs like the Yale Carbon Charge, we are well on our way to achieving our reduction targets. Learn more about our goals and progress on Climate Action.


Energy — Unplug

Poster outlining how to save energy costs by unplugging appliances when not in use.