Campus Life

Holiday heat reduction program to begin end of day on Dec. 21

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is known for its dedication to energy conservation initiatives. The University is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020 and continues to make thoughtful investments to reduce energy usage through various conservation programs. One of those key initiatives helping Penn State pursue its future energy conservation goals is the annual holiday heat reduction program.

Over the holiday break, in accordance with Administrative Policy AD64, temperatures in many University facilities will be reduced to conserve energy, generate savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the University.

Faculty and staff may use buildings over the holiday break, but indoor temperatures can be expected to be at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and ventilation systems will be off beginning at 5 p.m. Dec. 21 through the morning of Jan. 2, 2019.

At University Park, special requests for exceptions to this procedure will be considered under the following guidelines and must be received prior to Friday, Dec. 7:

  • Requests will be reviewed only for facilities serving the general public and in laboratories where research projects could be compromised by the temperature setback.
  • Such exception requests, specifying dates and time of day, must be endorsed by the appropriate dean or administrative officer and forwarded to the responsible facility coordinator.
  • The facility coordinator will submit the requests to Clayton Powers in the Office of the Physical Plant.

At locations other than University Park, the campus executive officer or administrative officer will determine the extent of the setback program, review requests for exceptions, and render decisions locally.

The official holiday break will be from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1, 2019. It is expected that building occupancy during this period will be minimal. At University Park, space temperatures will be set downward at the close of business on Friday, Dec. 21, and will be restored to normal operating temperature by Wednesday morning, Jan. 2, 2019.

Energy costs for University Park will exceed $25 million this year. The Holiday Heat Reduction program at University Park has averaged about $225,000 in savings per year. Faculty and staff cooperation in helping to reduce the University’s energy expenditures and supporting Penn State’s environmental stewardship initiatives during the holiday recess is greatly appreciated.

Further information may be found on the OPP website at

Last Updated November 27, 2018