Purpose of Energy Curtailments
The electrical rates for large energy consumers are determined by ERCOT (Electrical Reliability Council of Texas) during high energy usage in the North Texas region. Typically, these are in the summer months of June, July, August, and September when the electrical grid nears its capacity. SMU reduces energy consumption by allowing our building temperature set points to increase over a brief period during these high energy use periods. These energy curtailment periods last less than 2 hours, and the average temperature increase in each building is 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit. By participating in these energy curtailments, SMU helps our environment by reducing the demand for additional high-emission power plants, and allowing energy companies to focus on investing in the future of green energy rather than investing to meet the current demand.
SMU strives to be energy efficient and sustainable while serving as a leader in energy conservation. As a large energy consumer and an institution shaping world changers, SMU strives to educate everyone on the values of sustainable practices.
In order to reduce temperatures and energy consumption during curtailment, staff and students can do the following:
- Leave your windows and doors closed when the air conditioning is running
- Adjust your window blinds to let in daylight, but block heat from direct sun
- Turn off unnecessary lighting in your office
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Put your computer to sleep and turn off your monitors when not in use