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PM 89-07 University Energy Conservation Policy

PM 89-07


President John A. Brownell


University Energy Conservation Policy

[Supersedes PM 86-03]


California State University Dominguez Hills

Energy Conservation and Building Temperature Control Policy


The Federal Emergency Building temperature restrictions regulations, effective as of July 16, 1979, place restrictions on temperatures for heating, cooling and domestic hot water in commercial, industrial, government and other nonresidential buildings.  The regulations generally require the thermostat be set no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling, no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit for heating and no higher than 115 degrees Fahrenheit for domestic hot water.  The regulations also require room temperature set backs during periods when buildings are unoccupied.  In response to these regulations and other continuing State and CSU mandates to conserve energy the following guidelines for building temperature control will be followed in all CSUDH buildings:


  1. People should expect temperatures which are regularly between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and dress accordingly.

  2. Personnel working or teaching in rooms which are regularly colder than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than 78 degrees Fahrenheit, or who have chronic problems with drafts or stagnant air should report it, in writing, to Physical Plant.  Physical Plant will attempt to adjust the air conditioning or make other modifications to correct the problem.

  3. No space heaters, whether state-owned or personal property, will be authorized for campus use unless a statement, approved by Physical Plant, is on file in the Physical Plant Office indicating that such equipment is necessary to maintain a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. In accordance with Department of Energy Regulations, heating and air conditioning systems must be turned off while buildings are unoccupied.  This is normally between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., Monday through Friday and all hours of Saturday, Sunday and holidays.  Exceptions to these regulations should be requested, in writing, by the cognizant administrator and forwarded to the Director of Physical Plant.

  5. All windows in buildings that are air conditioned will remain closed and as secure as possible to prevent loss of conditioned air.

  6. Use of refrigerators for non-instructional purposes should be consistent with good energy management practices.  In order to discourage proliferation of personal refrigerators, approval for operation of such must be obtained from the Director of Physical Plant.

  7. Exemptions to this policy include, but are not limited to, maintaining laboratory plants or animal life; operation of data processing or other equipment which is temperature sensitive, storage of food or other perishables; and preservation of archives, books, art works or specimen.  Written request for exemptions should be sent by the cognizant administrator to the Director of Physical Plant.

We realize that implementation of the attached building temperature control policy will change environmental and physical comfort conditions in many, if not all, of the buildings on campus.  Physical Plant will respond as quickly as possible to adjust air conditioning and heating systems which are not providing temperatures within the 68 degree Fahrenheit to 78 degrees Fahrenheit restrictions mandated by the Federal Department of Energy Regulations.  In most buildings heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were not designed to accommodate these temperature restrictions.  This is further complicated by numerous changes in building space and room usage over the years, making it almost impossible to maintain original design conditions.  We hope all members of the campus community will cooperate as together we endeavor to achieve and maintain the goals of the Federal Building Temperatures Regulations.


*  *  *  *  *

Lighting Control Policy


  1. Artificial lighting is to be used only when natural light is insufficient to perform 

required function, or where the safety of the campus community is compromised.


  1. When artificial lighting is required, the following standard guidelines are to be followed:


    1. Use the minimum amount of light required to perform the required tasks comfortably.  The attached table indicates the desired level of illuminance [sic] that the University will attempt to provide.  Physical Plant will consult with facility users in the adjustment of lighting levels.

    2. Purely decorative lighting will be eliminated.  Lighting for special events will be approved on an event-by-event basis.

    3. Artificial lighting will be used only when areas are occupied.  Whenever a room is unoccupied, the lights are to be switched off.  This practice should be followed even if the room is unoccupied only for a few minutes.

    4. When specifying new light fixtures and lamps, care will be taken to order the most energy efficient light source appropriate for the intended application.


It should be noted that energy efficient lighting should not detract from the

esthetic value currently provided by lighting throughout the University.  In

most instances, it will be possible to provide more energy efficient lighting

that also provides better quality illumination.


Recommendations for Illuminance [sic]


            Type of Activity                                                     Lighting Levels  Footcandles           


Classrooms & General Offices                                             50 +/- 20%

Specialized Labs, Data Processing                                       75 +/- 20%

Drafting                                                                         100 +/- 20%

Work areas infrequently used (e.g., storage)                          15 +/- 20%

Public Areas (e.g., hallways, etc.)                                          5 +/- 20%

Parking                                                                              1 +/- 20%

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The statements found on the Presidential Memorandum Web page are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the University Library.
Last updated 07/29/2008, by Ruby Martinez.