Providing the energy to light, heat, cool, ventilate, and run an increasingly technological state government located on the Capitol Complex is a major task – and expense. To keep costs as low as possible, the Department of Administrative Services is continually seeking to identify and install energy-saving technologies.
What We’re Doing
DAS has partnered with MidAmerican Energy to conduct energy audits of all the buildings on the state Capitol Complex and is working to implement recommendations resulting from the studies. The State has already adopted several energy-saving technologies, such as:
Upgrading lights to efficient T-8 lamps with efficient electronic ballasts and replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs.
Using cool outside air to directly cool the interior of buildings whenever possible. This is called “economizer” cooling. When the outside air temperature and humidity are low enough, the air handling units open the outside air dampers, mixing cool, outside air with the return air from the building to provide cool air to the building’s interior rooms. Even when it’s cold outside, office buildings sometimes require cooling to maintain a comfortable temperature because heat is generated by people, computers, lights and other equipment.
In the winter, when the outside air is cold enough, generating chilled water without utilizing a refrigeration cycle by exchanging the heat directly from the chilled water to the outdoor air to take advantage of “free cooling.”
Using a building automation system to schedule lighting and heating/cooling systems to operate only during regular business hours.
Using motion detectors in areas such as restrooms, conference rooms and storage rooms to automatically turn off lights when areas are not in use.
In addition to installing energy-efficient technologies, DAS has implemented the following policies to save energy:
What You Can Do to Help
Flip the Switch
Turn off your monitor at night. (Note: don’t turn off your computer unless your IT staff says it’s OK.) Turn off the lights in conference rooms, break rooms, etc. when they’re not in use. Switch off task/work lights when you aren’t using them.
Unplug electronics such as cell phones and laptops once they are charged. Adapters plugged into outlets use energy even if they are not charging. Remove all personal coffee makers, water heaters and other heating devices (candle warmers) from work areas. A communal coffee maker in each common area is fine. Remove any personal refrigerators from work areas. Communal refrigerators are allowed.
Go with the Flow
Keep air vents clear of paper, files and office supplies. It takes as much as 25 percent more energy to pump air into the workspace if the vents are blocked. Remove all space heaters from work areas (the use of these actually disrupts sensors in the ceiling used to control building climate/temperature). Also, heat generating appliances such as these overload circuits and can lead to costly repairs or danger.
For more information contact Customer Service or 515-242-5120, Option 3.