November 7 , 2005
A letter from Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration
As you know, the cost of natural resources (i.e., oil and gas), as well as electricity, is increasing dramatically. In fact, the cost of natural gas has reached an all-time high. These increases are putting real pressure on our home and institutional budgets. As we head into the winter months, our demand for energy and the cost of consumption will only increase. Emory must be committed to leadership in the efficient use of energy and, as a community, do all we can to reduce energy consumption. It is important so that we do not divert even more resources from high-priority items like salaries and benefits. It is important, also, because it is simply the right thing to do for our future.
Over the coming months, we will continue to finalize a plan and identify ways to reduce our energy demand without impeding the important work we do. Our efforts will include developing plans to modify existing buildings in ways that will conserve energy, while ensuring that new buildings are constructed to be best-in-class on this dimension. We will also be outlining behavioral changes and practices that everyone can adopt to reduce energy consumption. Once we have a comprehensive plan in place to reduce the effects of rising energy prices, we will communicate that plan broadly.
Although we cannot fully insulate the impact of rising costs on Emory’s operations, we should all explore creative options to manage our individual and collective demand in ways that make sense. This is a serious call—we have already projected that, at today’s prices, our operating budget will increase nearly 48 percent (more than $13 million) between fiscal years 2006 and 2007 for all utility costs. This will consume a significant portion of our budget growth, and we are looking for everyone’s help in containing these cost escalations.
As we face this challenge, I ask that you keep a few common-sense efforts in mind. I ask that we—every student, staff and faculty member—consider the effects of our actions on energy consumption and take extra care to support Emory’s ongoing energy conservation initiative.
The following are examples of simple conservation practices that can greatly affect Emory’s energy usage and costs.
• Turn off any lights that are not in use, including those in offices, laboratories, conference rooms and unoccupied spaces or areas where windows provide sufficient daylight. However, please balance conservation with safety; lights in bathrooms, if dark, should be left on, as well as those in other areas that receive little or no natural light and might present safety risks.
• Enable the power-management features on your PC.
• As winter approaches, open shades and blinds during daylight hours.
• For those of you able to control the heat within your environment, Georgia Power recommends keeping the thermostat set on 68 degrees.
• Avoid using electric space heaters unless absolutely necessary. Where there are HVAC issues or concerns, please contact Campus Services customer service (404-727-7464) to evaluate the environment and repair any problems before resorting to additional portable heating units.
• When purchasing any small office equipment (scanners, fax machines, etc.), look for the “Energy Star” designation (www.energystar.gov), which signifies energy-efficient equipment that will translate into lower annual operating costs.
• If you are physically able, use stairs rather than elevators whenever possible.
By working together, we can demonstrate our leadership role in conservation and minimize the impact of our demand and consumption on the environment. If you have any ideas to assist with this effort, please do not hesitate to contact me directly or post your ideas and comments to www.finadmin.emory.edu (using the “Ask the EVP” comment box). Additionally, please feel free to contact Bob Hascall (firstname.lastname@example.org), vice president of Campus Services, with any thoughts or ideas.
Many thanks for your cooperation.
executive vice president for finance