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Energy & Water Use

Title: Energy & Water Use Policy
Effective Date: January 3, 2017
Responsible Office: Facilities Management, Finance & Administration
Last Updated: First Version

I. Scope 

This policy applies to William & Mary, excluding the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. It applies according to its terms to the entire university community -- students, faculty, staff, and visitors -- and to all buildings, facilities, and other structures owned, leased or controlled by William & Mary (university buildings). 

II. Purpose 

William & Mary institutionalized its commitment to sustainability practices by adopting the William & Mary Sustainability Policy (pdf). This commitment reflects the importance of wise use of finite natural resources. Leading among those resources are non-renewable fossil based energy sources, which have the further distinction of creating greenhouse gases. Water is another natural resource of increasing scarcity. This policy helps implement the Sustainability Policy by specifically addressing use of these resources, by setting rules regarding:

  • Lighting
  • Space heating and cooling
  • Computer and other office equipment
  • Other miscellaneous energy use
  • Water
  • Purchasing/Procurement. 
III. Policy

The William & Mary Sustainability Policy outlines three energy and one water-related goals.

  1.  Implement operational procedures, standards and goals to improve energy efficiency
  2.  Pursue Leadership and Energy Efficient Design (LEED) © certification standards for new construction and major renovations
  3.  Encourage individual students, faculty and staff to think about energy use in their daily lives
  4.  Implement operational procedures, standards and goals to decrease water use.
A. Facilities Management Responsibilities

The Facilities Management division maintains a robust energy management program that systematically reviews the generation and consumption of energy throughout the campus. Facilities Management engages with various stakeholders in order to drive investment in energy and water efficiency, make operational changes to eliminate wasteful energy and water use, and track usage over time to demonstrate progress toward a more energy efficient and sustainable campus. 

Facilities Management has incorporated into university Technical Standards the expectation of achieving LEED© Silver for all new construction and major renovations. Both energy and water efficiency are requirements and separate categories in LEED© project scoring. As a result, building design should incorporate best practices where feasible. 

Facilities Management will maintain lavatory, kitchen, central utilities and landscaping equipment in a state that minimizes unnecessary water consumption and will track water consumption to identify and address unanticipated usage. 

B. Resource Restrictions & Policies


  • Artificial lighting -- such as through overhead lights -- should be minimized.
  • Daylighting should be employed and artificial lighting used only when needed or where safety would be compromised.
  • Lights should be turned off when leaving rooms or common spaces unoccupied.
  • Facilities Management will install energy efficient lighting components with appropriate controls, such as occupancy sensors or timers that help turn lights off when an area is not in use. These components will be installed during major renovation and new construction, and existing components upgraded when feasible during routine maintenance.
  • Facilities Management will follow lighting level recommendations contained in the Illuminating Engineering Society Lighting Handbook.

Space Heating & Cooling

University buildings shall be managed to provide for the following temperature ranges:

When Occupied(*) When Unoccupied
Cooling Season 74 – 76 deg F 85 deg F max
Heating Season 69 – 73 deg F 60 deg F min

(*)The following general occupancy schedules will be assumed but may be adjusted on an ongoing or one-time basis:

Building Type Occupied Time
Administrative 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Academic 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday
Athletic facilities In accordance with use or hours of operation
Residence halls and Fraternity houses 24 hours per day, 7 days per week except for holidays and extended breaks
Libraries 24 hour per day, 7 days per week except for holidays and extended breaks
Research Labs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

For many university buildings, the temperature is centrally managed by Facilities Management. Other buildings, particularly smaller and older facilities, are controlled through thermostats managed by building occupants. Energy conservation should be a consideration when class schedules are established and events scheduled. Activities requiring extended hours of operation should be consolidated into as few buildings as possible. 

Building occupants should not adjust thermostats to settings outside of ranges listed above. Occupants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the season to minimize the need for excessive heating and cooling. Facilities Management should be contacted ([[workor]]) if the space temperatures are not being maintained within the ranges listed above.

  • Temperature exceptions, either on a one-time or permanent basis, may be granted. See EXCEPTIONS section below.
  • While buildings are being heated or cooled, outside doors and windows should remain closed.
  • Window air conditioning units should be turned off when not in use and at day’s end.
  • Portable space heater use is discouraged.
  • In laboratories, chemical fume hood sashes should be closed when the hood is not in use to eliminate unnecessary conditioning of air. Hoods should be ASHRAE 110 tested to establish appropriate face velocity that ensures containment while avoiding unnecessary exhaust air. Biological cabinets’ fans should be turned off when not in use whenever possible.

Computers & Other Electronic Office Equipment

Computers, printer/copiers, fax machines, and other office equipment are a source of significant energy consumption, particularly when in active (rather than “sleep” or “powered down”) mode. Computers managed by W&M’s Information Technology department are configured for energy savings while maintaining the availability to deploy security patches in a timely manner. In an effort of energy conservation, the following computer settings are applied globally:

  • Faculty, staff, and lab computer monitors enter sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity.
  • Classroom podium computer monitors enter sleep mode after 1 hour of inactivity.

Unless accessed remotely after working hours, computers and other electronic office equipment should be turned off or placed in energy savings mode when not in use for extended periods or at the end of the day.

Miscellaneous Energy Use

Campus community members are encouraged to:

  • Minimize elevator use by taking the stairs whenever possible.
  • Share use of office refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers.
  • Avoid use of powered accessibility doors unless needed to provide access to people with disabilities. 


Water is to be used sparingly. Showers and faucets should be turned off when not being actively used. Leaks should be reported promptly to Facilities Management ([[workor]]). 

  • Cold tap water should be used whenever possible, unless sanitary or other special requirements necessitate the use of hot or chilled water.
  • Facilities Management will install dual flush toilets and low flow urinals, showers and faucets whenever possible.
  • Facilities Management will set domestic hot water temperatures to 120 deg F unless medical, instructional, research or other special requirements necessitate the use of other temperatures.
  • Facilities Management will maintain and operate cooling towers used for heat rejection in a manner to minimize the evaporation of water while ensuring proper scale control and chiller plant operation. 


ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, systems and appliances ( or EPEAT registered equipment ( should be purchased whenever such products are available and the following two conditions are satisfied:

  • The quality and function of the ENERGY STAR / EPEAT product is equal or superior to that of non-ENERGY STAR / EPEAT products; and
  • The additional upfront cost of the ENERGY STAR / EPEAT product is less than it resulting lifecycle energy savings.

When comparing non-ENERGY STAR / EPEAT to ENERGY STAR / EPEAT products, the procurement official shall consider operating efficiencies in purchasing decisions. 

C. Exceptions

Policy exceptions can be granted when necessary to accommodate instructional, research, medical or other special requirements. Exception requests shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. To request an exception send an email to [[workor]].

D. Reporting Building Problems

Faculty and staff are encouraged to report building conditions that are inconsistent with the guidelines outlined in this policy by placing a work request with Facilities Management at [[workor]] or by phone at (757) 221 2270.

IV. Approval, Amendment & Guidance

This policy was approved by the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. The Associate Vice President of Facilities Management interprets this policy and is directed to review this policy periodically to ensure continued effectiveness.