News & Announcements

7/22/11: Heat Wave - Energy Conservation Help Needed
Friday, July 22, 2011

Dear Members of the CUMC Community,


Because of today's severe heat and record-breaking temperatures, New York City and Westchester County are experiencing major grid emergencies due to the increased electrical demand. Con Edison said that peak use of electricity reached a new high for 2011 yesterday, July 21, and today is predicted to be even hotter.



To avoid a potential black-out, the Department of Facilities Management is implementing an aggressive energy reduction plan for the CUMC campus that includes

- Running emergency generators

- Cutting non-critical equipment, and

- Shutting down an elevator in each of the Black, P&S, Hammer, Russ Berrie and ICRC beginning at 10 am.



At this point, we ask that you assist us in this effort to curtail our usage and protect critical equipment. Each of us can help respond to this emergency.


- Turn off lights, appliances, electronics, and any unnecessary office equipment.

- Ensure copiers and printers are off or are in "power save" mode if not in use.

- Close blinds and shades to avoid allowing in additional light and heat.

- Close windows and doors of unoccupied rooms.

- Turn off window air conditioners in unoccupied rooms.

- Turn off your lights and computer screen when leaving your office for any extended period.

- Set air conditioner fan speeds to the lowest setting possible and keep thermostats as high as possible.

- Look for every opportunity to reduce electrical usage.

- Report service problems to the Facilities Customer Service Center at 5-HELP


Not only will these efforts help curtail our electricity consumption, it will also help to reduce the introduction of additional heat into our buildings.


We also want to remind you that to ensure safety and security of critical equipment in the case of an emergency, all critical equipment should be plugged into the red emergency outlets to guarantee power supply.


Thank you for your cooperation and patience. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to email




Find out about Columbia University Facilities' additional energy initiatives by visiting


Get more energy saving tips from Con Edison at

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Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All other times, call Public Safety at
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