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Energy-Conserving Tips

Energy Conservation Tips

Want to win DIITD?  Check out these energy-conserving tips!

Heating and Cooling

  • Turn down your thermostat if it is too hot. Don’t open windows in the winter – they’re the biggest wood frame energy waster by far and just make the heat turn up higher.  Turning your heat higher also doesn’t make it warmer faster.  If you’ve adjusted the thermostat and it’s still too hot or cold, call Customer Service at 860-685-3400.
  • Keep your thermostat set between 65o and 68o during the winter.
  • Air conditioners are not allowed, so use an electric fan instead. It will use much less energy and save you from getting fined. Better yet, just open all the windows and get a good cross breeze going!


  • Fact: Lighting accounts for roughly 10% of total energy use in a room. Use natural light when possible and turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Try to stick with the lighting provided by Wesleyan, as it is the most efficient type.
  • If you do require additional lamps, use only compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. You can get them free from the Usdan Computer Store.
  • Don’t leave your decorative lighting (string lights, etc.) on all the time.  If you’re going to use decorative string lighting, switch to LEDs, which use a lot less energy than conventional lights.
  • Just because you didn’t leave the light on doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be one to turn it off…take responsibility for your whole house.

In the Kitchen

  • Medium stovetop cooking settings work well for most cooking; only use high when you’re boiling water.
  • Cover pots when cooking or boiling water – the water will boil faster and save energy.
  • Put pots and pans on the right sized burner.
  • DO NOT use an extra refrigerator. Fridges use an extraordinary amount of electricity, and mini-fridges are even less efficient.
  • Set fridge on lower settings: very cold settings use more energy and can spoil your food.
  • Invest in some reusable plates, cups, and cutlery – it will save you money and be better for the planet.
  • Use cloth towels instead of paper ones.
  • Start composting…you can start with a mini composter (like a yogurt bucket) or get a 5 gallon bucket from the composting interns and then when it’s full, empty it out in the black collection bin nearest you.  Keep in mind that meat and dairy can’t be composted.  You can email wesleyancompost@gmail.com if you have other questions.
  • When you throw your awesome woodframe parties either reuse the solo cups or keep plenty of actual glasses on hand.

Water Usage

  • Fact: most hot water in Wesleyan’s houses comes from the heating system, so it takes a lot of energy to produce.
  • If it’s yellow, let it mellow. But not for too long…
  • Turn the water off while you are washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or doing dishes. Don’t let it run when you are not using it.
  • Try taking shorter showers and/or turning the water off when you are washing or shaving. Also it doesn’t need to be so hot.  Strive for a 4 minute shower!
  • When you are doing laundry, use the bright clothes cycle which uses cold water for washing and rinsing.  Dry your clothes on a drying rack instead of using the dryer, too.


  • Do not use a screensaver. Instead, use power management settings to set your computer to sleep after 15 minutes and hibernate after 30.
  • Shut down your computer when you are not going to be using it for more than a couple of hours. Contrary to popular belief, shutting down does not harm your computer and conserves energy.
  • Use a laptop or tablet, which use far less energy than a desktop.
  • Leave your printer at home – there are lots of places to print on campus!
  • Only print a document if absolutely necessary; and if you have to print, use the “duplex” printing mode to use both sides of the paper.

Appliances and Electronics

  • Pretty much anything other than lights or fans still draw power even when off.  Unplug anything with an adapter or charger, such as cell phone chargers, laptop cords, printers, speakers, and coffee pots, when not in use.
  • You can save time unplugging by using a power strip or surge protector.
  • Don’t leave appliances on standby: turn them off.
  • During school breaks, unplug everything (fridges may be left plugged in, but empty out first).


Welcome to the Do It in the Dark blog!  Please check back in the fall for ideas, updates, and monthly winners!

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