UWSP Conserves Energy During Break
Andy Davis

snow-1-color-sfeld.jpgWith winter break right around the corner, UW – Stevens Point is making arrangements to conserve energy during the absence of about 3,500 students.

During the holiday season all of the residence halls—except the Suites@201, Pray-Sims and Baldwin Halls—lay empty. Assistant Director for Building Services through Residential Living and member of the Sustainability Task Force Mike Zsido said that there are general guidelines each residence hall must go through before students leave for break.

“All the halls are set back to 60 degrees, where they’re usually around 68,” Zsido said. “Also many of the renovated halls have occupancy sensors. The lights turn off when no one is moving around.”

Zsido also mentioned that the three halls that remain open during break have thermostats that can be controlled by students, meaning that areas where students are not present will not be consuming energy for heat. Zsido said that students must also close their drapes before their departure, in order to prevent a loss of heat that would trip the thermostat. 

​University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point cleans up after weekend snowstorm.
Photo by Samantha Feld.

Residence Hall Director of Baldwin Adam Neveau had more information about the checkout requirements.

“In all the halls we ask students to unplug all electronics in their rooms,” Neveau said. “It’s part of the departure checklist that is posted to residents’ doors at the end of the semester, like closing the curtains.”

Baldwin Hall is one of the renovated residence halls, and Neveau says that the windows in the newer rooms do not leak air as badly as in some of the other halls. He is also responsible for the final shutdown of the building and shuts off all the lights when he leaves.

Chief Information Officer Dave Dumke said that the Information Technology Department has been working hard to reduce year-round energy consumption. The data centers on campus are virtualizing servers in order to reduce electrical use. This server consolidation has reduced the number of servers (originally 200) by about half according to Scott Trzebiatowski, Net 7 infrastructure technical support specialist.

“By virtualizing these servers we can have far more storage space with the same amount of voltage,” Trzebiatowski said. “As far as consumption during winter break is concerned, we at least try to have the computers go to sleep.”

The computers must remain on in order to install software updates, Trzebiatowski said. Dumke said that when students are absent during break there is an expected decline in electrical usage.