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Raising temps cuts costs in DU buildings

Being a little warmer is cool this summer when it comes to sustainability.

For the summer months, the University of Denver is again turning up the temperature dial just a bit in centrally controlled University buildings. By raising the temperatures from the usual 74-degree setting to 76 degrees, DU Energy Engineer Tom McGee says DU can keep about 160 tons of carbon out of the atmosphere and save about $40,000.

That’s a lot of green for going green.

McGee says that in the more modern, centrally controlled buildings — the Ricketson Law Building, Daniels College of Business and Sturm Hall — slightly warmer temperatures are already in effect. In older buildings with independent air conditioners, the DU Sustainability Council is urging all faculty and staff to look around and adjust their own temperature settings to 76 degrees.

“It’s a little warmer,” McGee says. “But if you keep it there for about a week, you get acclimated.”

Law Professor Fred Cheever, who chairs the Sustainability Council, says the move makes sense both for the environment and for the University’s bottom line.

“Two degrees for $40,000?” he asks. “We can live with that.”

The move is part of DU’s efforts under the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The University has committed to achieving climate neutrality, with no net greenhouse gas emissions, by 2050, meeting specified benchmarks along the way.

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One Comment

  1. Christof Demont-Heinrich says:

    This is good to see. Of course, a lot of us in old buildings like Mass Communications with independent wall air conditioners in each office have no idea what the actual temperature is in our offices.

    It would help to distribute some low-cost wall thermometers to folks like along with a request to keep the temp around 76.

    In fact, I rarely turn on my wall unit as I’m willing to sit in temps of up to 80. But I know not everyone is.

    Christof Demont-Heinrich
    Assistant Professor
    Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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