Energy Efficiency

One goal of Green Labs is to reduce energy consumption within labs, educate participants on proper energy saving techniques, and provide resources/tools for implementing energy efficiency throughout the labs.

In a 2012 energy assessment, laboratories made up 47% percent of total electricity usage on campus. By 2018, we've moved that percentage down to 34% but since laboratory square footage is only 20% of campus, we still have a lot of potential for savings.  

Best Energy Practices

  • Keep the fume hoods sash shut or lowered when not in use. Add date fume hood sticker was installed.
  • Practice energy conscious experiments (i.e. not refluxing overnight, not running an oven to dry a sample over the weekend, unplugging hot plates, and incubators when not in use).

  • Use appropriately sized containers for ice, dry ice, and liquid nitrogen (oversized containers waste material and energy, so only take the amount you need).

  • Post and follow any exit procedure reminders to practice energy savings (i.e. turn off lights, unplug acceptible equipment, click off power strips, etc).

  • Unplug unused electronic devices.

  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs or LEDs in all applicable light fixtures.

  • Use lighting strategies (i.e. task lighting, bi-level lighting).

  • Make power strips easily accessible.

  • Don't use screen savers.

  • Use smart strips/ecostrips or any other energy efficiency power strip device (sensored powerstrips that may turn off automatically when not in use).

  • Have an annual lab cleanup day that includes thawing freezers.

  • Use EnergyStar (or other high-efficiency) appliances.

Shut the Sash

Fume Hood Shut The Sash

Fume hoods are one of the most energy consuming pieces of equipment within a laboratory. In our Shut the Sash Campaign, we asked labs to shut or lowered fume hood sashes when not in use. Doing this will decrease the amount of air suction and drastically improve energy efficiency.

Freezer Clean-Out and Thawing

Reasons to clean-out and thaw your freezer:

  • Minus 80 freezers are the largest single equipment energy draw from a plug load.

  • Cleaning out a labs freezer will save money, energy, and space.
  • Many samples can be stored in minus 70 degree freezer temperatures without impacting longevity. A full list of samples can be found here


Quick Resources

Energy Consumption of Lab Equipment                    Best Energy Practices