Policy 1704
Energy Use

Date of Current Revision: October 2017
Primary Responsible Officer: Associate Vice President for Business Services


The university’s commitment to sustainability is documented in the strategic plan and the campus Environmental Stewardship Action Plan (ESAP).  This policy provides guidelines, information and resources for reducing energy consumption and expenditures on energy.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600; § 23.1-1301.  The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president. 


Environmental Stewardship:
Environmental stewardship at JMU means conserving, stewarding and restoring natural systems as we contribute to social well-being and economic prosperity for current and future generations.

The working definition of sustainability is adapted from the Federal Register (2009): Sustainability creates and maintains "the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”


This policy applies to all university students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and visitors.


Wherever and whenever applicable and feasible, the university conserves energy and improves campus energy efficiency.  The university aligns its plans, practices and procedures with the campus environmental stewardship goals and the campus Environmental Stewardship Action Plan (ESAP).


Individual’s actions should include:

  • Use natural sunlight during the day instead of turning on interior lights if possible.
  • Use task lights instead of turning on overhead lights if possible. Use LEDs for task lighting.
  • Turn off lights in vacant rooms.
  • Turn off lights and projectors when exiting rooms that will not be occupied within 15 minutes.
  • Turn off computer monitors when leaving for more than 15 minutes.  
  • Enable low-power mode settings on computers.
  • Enable low-power mode settings on laser printers and copiers.
  • Plug electronics, computers, and office equipment into power strips; turn all of this equipment off on weekends, evenings, and holidays; and turn the power strip off to prevent the equipment from using energy when turned off.
  • Share office equipment such as printers and copiers, as opposed to having duplicate equipment, to the extent possible.
  • The use of individual microwaves, coffee makers, hot plates, refrigerators, radios, DVD players, televisions, and similar personal, energy-consuming devices is discouraged.
  • Report observations of excessive energy use, concerns, or suggestions to building coordinators and/or facilities management work control.

Facilities Management actions should include:

  • All new laboratory, clinical, research, or educational equipment will be specified to be energy efficient and to use process (non-air conditioning) chilled water or centralized heating water or steam.
  • The use of domestic water for single-pass cooling is prohibited.
  • The installation of new incandescent or halogen lighting is discouraged.
  • JMU will follow the state policy on vehicle idling reduction.

Facilities Management and individuals will follow these temperature management guidelines: 

  • JMU facilities management strives to maintain a space temperature range of 68° to 78° Fahrenheit in all occupied campus buildings.  Within this temperature range, FM will balance occupant comfort and program/research needs with the university’s energy conservation goals.
  • During unoccupied periods, on a building-by-building basis and depending on the nature and use of the facility, set points shall be adjusted to provide for maximum energy savings, while also providing efficient warm-up / cool-down moving from unoccupied to occupied periods.
  • Recognizing the wide range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems on campus and the engineering difficulties associated with heating and cooling older buildings, uniform temperature in a facility may not be attainable.  Due to building characteristics and control limitations, actual temperatures may vary from the target set point.
  • Air conditioning temperatures may vary greatly depending on the building’s technology and the corresponding system’s most efficient operation.  In some buildings, cooler temperatures in the summer may actually be more efficient, since the conditioned air is not being re-heated as much after its humidity is reduced.
  • Maximum comfort and efficiency will be achieved when occupants and building managers actively adapt to building conditions through modification of air flow, sunlight, and appropriate apparel choices.
  • Facilities management monitors and adjusts the above set points in centrally-controlled systems.
  • Occupants who control their own thermostats are required to adhere to these settings also.
  • Campus-wide schedules for office and classroom buildings provide for occupancy from 8 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Schedules outside of these hours can be accommodated as necessary by contacting facilities management work control.
  • Schedules for buildings with unique needs such as libraries and athletic venues will be determined on a case by case basis by facilities management work control and the building occupants.
  • The use of space heaters is prohibited.

    Employees are encouraged to manually open doors as able instead of using electric door openers in order to shorten periods of outdoor air exchange.


  • Employees with access to manually-controlled thermostats will abide by this policy when controlling day and night settings of the thermostats.
  • Information technology is responsible for compliance with this policy.
  • Facilities management is responsible for compliance with this policy.  This includes the installation of motion-sensitive light switches, as well as centrally-controlled thermostats where feasible.
  • Building coordinators are responsible for assisting in compliance of this policy.
  • Supervisors are responsible for their employees’ adherence to this policy.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense.


This policy is not applicable to properties leased by the university.


Authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the associate vice president for business services.

Previous Version:  July 2015
Approved by the President:  November 2009

Back to Top