For the 10th year in a row, the Virginia Tech community exceeded its goal during the annual Lights Out!/Power Down! event held on June 27 on the Blacksburg campus.

During the one-hour time period (2-3 p.m.) the university reduced its campus electrical demand to an average 20,500 kilowatts from a 28,450 kilowatts peak earlier in the day, almost an 8,000 kilowatt reduction.

The demand goal for the 2019 event was 22,000 kilowatts for the hour, a reduction of 5,200 kilowatts.

Virginia Tech will receive approximately $128,000 for successfully participating in the program.

Since 2010, Virginia Tech has received more than $1.8 million by participating in the Interruptible Load Reliability energy reduction program. The program is part of Virginia Tech’s agreement with PJM Interconnection, Virginia’s regional electric transmission grid operator, and is managed by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy and administered by CPower.

As a large consumer of electricity in the region, Virginia Tech’s participation helps mitigate the loss of power in the broader community during times of peak energy usage, such as hot, humid summer afternoons and early evenings. This program allows the university to test its ability to meet that demand should those conditions occur.

“Lights Out!/Power Down! is a prime example of the university community’s commitment to environmental stewardship in action,” said Chris Kiwus, associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “Together, we achieved our goal by turning off lighting, turning down air conditioning, and turning off or unplugging computers, appliances, and other electronics during the hour.”

Lights Out!/PowerDown! is one illustration of how Virginia Tech is making strides in reducing its environmental footprint and building sustainability awareness. The efforts are also a clear reflection of Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment (VTCAC).

Now in its 10th year, the VTCAC serves as a cornerstone for guiding the university toward a greener, more sustainable future. It touches on all aspects of university sustainability and energy efficiency, including campus operations, facilities, curriculum, and research.

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