Office of Facilities Planning and Management

Energy Policy

Energy Policy at SMU includes details on energy curtailment activities, temperature set-point ranges for summer and winter, and directions on controlling your thermostat. Use the links to the right for further information in a particular area of interest.

Purpose of Energy Curtailments

The electrical rates for large energy consumers are influenced by peak demand 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 typically 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 reduce the demand for electrical energy generation, and lessens the threat of a "brown out".

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 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

Temperature Set Point Ranges:

  • Heating Season (November 1 to March 1*): 68°F - 72°F
  • Cooling Season (March 1 to November 1*): 72°F - 76°F *Typical seasons in the DFW Region. Weather conditions may cause slight variations

Some building spaces, such as research, archival, fitness, and computer room applications, require special indoor design environments outside of this Protocol. These spaces are excluded from these temperature set point ranges.

Temperature set point ranges in residence halls remains 68°F to 74°F year-round. Residents are asked to be aware that changes between winter / spring and summer / fall, during seasonal changes, swings in external daytime and night time temperatures may at times affect room temperatures which will still adjust to remain in the range of 68°F to 74°F.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What if it is too hot (or cold) when I work late or on the weekend?

Manual override during unoccupied hours is available - see directions for your specific thermostat.

What if I need to schedule an event during unoccupied hours?

Contact Facilities Support Center at (214) 768-7000 two weeks prior to your event to assure the event space is the proper temperature for your event.

What if there's no airflow from vents?

Notify Facilities Support Center at (214) 768-7000.

It’s very hot outside, and our thermostat has been sitting on 82°F for the last three hours. We are too hot. Can we get some air conditioning?

If thermostat has been 2°F above or below Temperature Set Point Protocol for more than two hours, call Facilities Support Center at (214) 768-7000.