Energy Tips & Tricks

The WSU Integrated Design + Construction Lab (ID+CL) conducts sponsored design and construction research activities under WSU’s Institute for Sustainable Design + Construction, the School of Design + Construction, and is administered under the WSU Composite Materials and Engineering Center. The ID+CL advances innovation in practice as part of an allied regional network of university labs (UO, UW, WSU, UI, MSU) that provides technical assistance and market diffusion services to AECO building teams. The network seeks to transform design, construction, and building operational practices to advance high-performance building designs that are more comfortable for people, require less carbon and energy to construct and maintain, and enhance the health and productivity of occupants.

Out-of-Office Checklist

Before leaving your office for long holiday breaks, please remember to do the following:

  • Be sure to remove or secure any items on your desktop that might blow off your surfaces if increased airflow happens while you are away. These items could cause a fire if they land on heaters or radiant panels.
  • Completely and safely power off and unplug all electronics. This includes:
  • Surge protectors
  • Computers (Note: if you need to remote into your computer, you can unplug all monitors and other connected equipment, and leave the computer on)
  • Computer monitors
  • Speakers
  • Fans
  • Space heaters
  • All printers/scanners
  • Kettles
  • Lamps, warmers
  • Height adjustable desks
  • Coffee machines
  • Microwaves
  • And other kitchenette items
  • Turn off all overhead lights in the office.
  • At your desk, remove any food items, or things that smell, or could go bad in the time you will be away.
  • Clean out refrigerators.
  • Turn off all overhead lights, and shut your blinds.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Never leave space or under desk heaters plugged in while not in use. This equipment poses a serious fire hazard when buildings are unoccupied over holiday breaks.



Space heaters on campus are regulated by SPPM 8.50.  Here are a few quick tips to ensure your space heater is fire safe:

  • Portable space heaters should use about 200 watts or less of electricity.
  • Space heaters must have a tip-over on/off switch. (REQUIRED)
  • Space heaters need to be UL listed.
  • Heaters need to be plugged into an electrical receptacle or power strip (surge protector) – Do not use with basic extension cords.
  • Keep combustible materials like paper, wood, cardboard, and packing materials away from the heaters.
  • Make sure to turn off heaters at least 15 minutes before you leave work to ensure they have cooled down.
  • Never leave a heater unattended. (This means NOT leaving it on over lunch breaks, over weekends, or while not in the office, ever).
  • An electric radiant type of heater with elements that glow bright red or orange is not allowed due to the extreme fire danger.

If you have questions or need additional information please contact WSU Fire & Safety Compliance Officer Darren Jones by phone at (509) 338-3148 or by email at


WSU is in the process of switching buildings over to heat.  Most buildings have recently had their chilled water lines drained and have been converted from cooling over to heat. The heating is also being set to turn on at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which is back up to the pre-COVID temperature.  For comparison, last year an area could get down to 65 degrees Fahrenheit before the heat turned on.  The temperature adjustments have returned to COVID setpoints (heating changed from 65 to 65 and air-conditioning from 76 to 78) saving WSU almost $1M in energy costs.  With the temperatures back up to 68 again this year you may not need supplemental heat for your area, but if you do please follow the buying and use guidelines for space heaters.


Residence Hall Energy Saving Tips

Did you know that a typical, 200-square-foot dorm room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 2,000 miles? Students, as you return to campus, you can work together to reduce energy waste.

Visit this Energy Efficiency Day “Green Your College Dorm Room” article to learn more about reducing your energy use through lighting, heating/cooling, and your electronics.