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Energy Conservation

Time of Use and Peak Hours

Energy Conservation Policy

Enacted in 2008, this policy identifies energy conservation as a significant issue for UT and outlines steps to manage and reduce campus energy consumption.

The policy establishes that during normal occupied hours, the target indoor air temperatures in campus buildings will be 68 degrees Fahrenheit for heating and 76 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling.

In addition, the policy sets guidelines for energy-efficient purchasing, computing, lighting, and water use by UT faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

It is always important to try to conserve energy, but during certain times of the year, there are particular hours in the day in which it is important to be extra mindful of energy usage.

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors can follow these tips to save resources and lower energy costs:

  • Schedule printing, copying, and other energy-intensive office work for after 11:00 a.m. in the winter and before 2:00 p.m. in the summer.
  • Cook and reheat food with microwaves instead of conventional ovens
  • Keep outside doors and windows closed and dress warmly to conserve heating
  • Turn off the lights when you’re the last to leave a room, and take advantage of natural light
  • When possible, take the stairs and limit your use of elevators
  • Power down unused computers and other electronic appliances, set computers to sleep mode when not in use for ten minutes or more.
    More information on energy vampires.

Peak times for energy use are determined by the Tennessee Valley Authority and vary by season. Peak energy use billing, which became mandatory for TVA’s largest customers in 2011, provides the campus with an opportunity to save on energy costs by adjusting study, work, and play habits.


Thermostat set to 68 degrees

During the winter months, peak energy hours are from 5am-11am, and run Mondays through Fridays between December 1st to March 31st.


Thermostat set to 76 degrees

During the summer, peak energy hours are from 2pm- 8:30pm therefore it is best to plan high energy activities for the morning.

Energy Conservation

During fiscal year 2017, UT consumed (generated and purchased) 235,148,607 kWh, follow the six tips below to help us be more mindful of energy usage, reduce our GHGs, and to Make Orange Green!

Diagram of energy saving locations.


  1. Turn off your computer when you are not using it for long periods of time, or put it on sleep mode for shorter periods when it is not in use.
  2. Keep blinds closed during the summer for a cooler room.
  3. Open the blinds during the winter months for natural light and to have the sun help heat up your room.
  4. Turn the lights off when you leave the room
  5. Use a power strip for all appliances and turn it off when not in use
  6. Add an extra layer before you turn the heat up