Energy Conservation

In 2004, the College of Saint Benedict was awarded the Energy Conservation Award for its outstanding management and utilization of energy resources.

Energy costs are rising every year at frightening rates. It is important for us to realize how much energy we are using so we can assess how much energy is simply being wasted. The College of Saint Benedict is collaborating with the college community so it can find ways to manage its resources effectively and save energy when possible. As the rates of natural gas and electricity continue to go up, the cost of these energy resources will be reflected in the increase in tuition dollars.

What can you do to help save energy at CSB and keep tuition from rising?


  • Turn off the lights when leaving ANY room.
  • Open blinds and curtains during the day to use sunlight instead of artificial lights.
  • Focus the light where it is needed in a room instead of brightly lighting the entire room.
  • Use fluorescent bulbs in lamps and in other lighting fixtures when possible
  • Dust light fixtures on a regular basis because a coat of dust blocks light output.
  • Study in public areas such as the library or the coffee shop.
  • Use lighting in academic facilities only when needed and turn off when not in use.

Heating and Cooling

  • Dress appropriately to the season and to the weather
  • Try to keep thermostats set at 68°F when heating and 74°F when cooling.
  • During the heating season, open curtains and blinds during the day to take advantage of the sun's warmth. At night, keep blinds and curtains closed to keep heat in.
  • During the cooling season, close blinds and curtains to block direct sunlight.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air conditioned areas.
  • Use hot water sparingly.
  • When possible, schedule extracurricular activities during daylight hours.
  • Schedule evening meetings in rooms that can be individually heated and cooled.
  • If your room is too hot or too cold, submit a work order to maintenance.
  • No electric space heaters are allowed, if your room is not warm enough, submit a work order to maintenance.


  • Turn off electrical appliances when leaving a room.
  • If possible, purchase Energy Star appliances, such as refrigerators, microwaves and stereos.
  • Turn off flat irons, curling irons, hot plate, etc. when finished using.
  • Unplug battery chargers, power adapters, and other small appliances when not in use.
  • Do not keep refrigerators and freezers too cold. Refrigerator temperatures should be 37-40°F and freezers should be kept at 0°F.
  • Vacuum/brush the condenser coils on your refrigerator once a year.


  • Take short showers using warm water to save energy used to heat hot water.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and/or washing your face.
  • Wash full loads of laundry and use the cold wash cycle (bright colors cycle) when possible.
  • Dry full loads of laundry or hang your clothes to dry when possible.


  • Screen savers do not save energy but giving your computer a nap does. Enable power management features so your computer monitor and hard drive will go into a low power (blank screen) "sleep mode" when not actively in use.
  • Keep all computer equipment off unless in use – especially at night and on weekends.
  • Turn off your monitor when you go to class or leave your computer for a period of time.
  • When purchasing computers and peripherals, buy low wattage equipment certified by the EPA's Energy Star program.

Copier and Printers

  • Print and copy as little as possible
  • Print double-sided when possible
  • Edit papers on the screen and not on paper
  • Save documents to the computer, to a flash drive, CD, or disk, instead of printing paper
  • Send and store documents electronically instead of on paper
  • Use email to minimize paper use and avoid printing emails.
  • Circulate documents instead of making many individual copies
  • Reuse envelopes by placing new labels over old labels


  • Recycle these items: aluminum, tin, glass, paper, cardboard, and plastic, to reduce the amount of garbage.
  • For more information, visit the Recycling page.