Energy Price Spike in Western US Prompts New Conversations About Energy Conservation on Campus

Our memorable December storms are still with us. Increased energy demand from the extended low temperatures and freeze events has caused energy prices in the Western US main hubs to spike, increasing by as much as five-fold. For example, in one local hub, unit prices increased in January from $8 to $45.25. 

This event reminds us of the importance of our energy conservation efforts on campus, both as a cost-saving measure and as part of our commitment to creating a more sustainable future. As extreme weather events become more common and fossil fuel markets more volatile, we should remember that conservation and thoughtful usage habits are as crucial a component as developing fuel alternatives. 

Please join us in establishing these three simple habits to prevent energy waste on campus:

  • Close all windows at night
  • Adjust thermostats down a bit (do not turn them off as this can freeze pipes and cause more GHG emissions related to repairs than it saves)
  • Reduce the length of showers

As Stanford economist Paul Romer once noted, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Let's leverage this event into lasting conservation habits here on campus.

Thursday, January 12, 2023