Virginia Tech significantly cut energy consumption and saved more than $230,000 by reducing heating and electrical usage during the winter break.

Virginia Tech Facilities Operations lowered temperatures for all or parts of 39 buildings on campus from Dec. 21, 2013, to Jan. 20, 2014. In addition, the university community was asked to turn off lights, computers, and other electrical devices during the break.

“The adjusted heating schedule definitely helped Virginia Tech save money, but just as important it helped the university reduce carbon emissions and save energy,” said Fred Selby, Virginia Tech energy manager.

A several day period with record-breaking low temperatures curtailed some of the planned savings. Additional heat was needed in several buildings to keep pipes from freezing.

The Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan, reaffirmed in 2013, commits Virginia Tech to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and to improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.