The university community is asked to reduce electrical consumption from 2-3 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, as part of a campus-wide test of our electrical demand management program.

The power down event will demonstrate the university’s ability to decrease electrical usage to help protect the nation’s electric grid during periods of peak demand.

During those peak demand periods, which usually occur during summer months, Virginia Tech could be asked to decrease electricity usage by 25 percent within two hours.

“While this is just a test, Virginia Tech actually had to reduce our electrical usage twice during recent years because of spikes in power usage on the national grid,” said Ruben Avagyan, campus energy manager. “Practicing now will make sure we are ready should we get the call this summer.”    

During the power down event, community members are asked to turn off and unplug, if appropriate, all non-critical lighting and electrical loads during the one-hour test. 

Suggestions for saving electricity include:

  • Turning off lights in offices, common areas, and hallways;
  • Turning off personal computers and peripherals not in use;
  • Turning off shared electronics (televisions, projectors, copiers, printers, fax machines, etc.) when not in use;
  • Unplugging appliances (coffee makers, refrigerators, washers/dryers, cooking equipment, etc.) when not in use; and
  • Turning off laboratory equipment when not in use.

Throughout the day, Facilities Services employees will canvass buildings to assist occupants with identifying opportunities to turn off non-essential equipment. In addition, Facilities Operations staff will be reducing air conditioning levels in select, non-critical areas. Those impacted will be notified prior to the event.

This is the sixth year that Virginia Tech has tested its electrical demand management program. The university was required to reduce its campus electrical demand for actual grid emergency events in 2012 and 2013.

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.