Santa Clara University


Save energy

Ways to take action: Save Energy!

The efficiency of our energy use extends further and deeper than our wallets. Energy can be derived from many sources: coal, oil, wood, water, solar, wind, geothermal, and natural gas. The ways in which we extract and harness these energy sources is important as it affects our economy, social equity and justice, and the natural world. Here are the top 5 reasons to care about energy efficiency:

  • Energy efficiency saves you money
  • Energy efficiency improves the economy.
  • Energy efficiency is good for the environment.
  • Energy efficiency improves national security.
  • Energy efficiency enhances quality of life.

The following simple actions can save you money and avoid excessive carbon emissions:


  • Purchase and plug in a smart power strip to easily turn off all electronics and appliances with the flip of a switch (Unplugging appliances when not in use eliminate phantom loads, also known as vampire energy).
  • Swap out incandescent light bulbs with a compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights.
  • Turn off lights in rooms, bathrooms, and common spaces when unoccupied, not in use, and at night.
  • Before using air-conditioning or turning on the heat, add or remove a layer of clothing and close windows.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Air dry about 50% or more of your laundry instead of an electric or gas dryer.
  • Wash FULL loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Take a 5-minute or less shower. It takes energy to heat up the water! If you take one minute off your shower, you save 1,024 gallons of water a year!
  • Join SCU's Campus Recreation in the Hoofprint Challenge, a pledge to offset carbon emissions from club sport travel in the academic year 2012-2013. To reach the goal of depleting 263 tons of carbon within the 2013-2014 school year, faculty, staff, and students commit to waste reduction, water conservation, energy savings, and miscellaneous actions and renew this pledge every quarter. 


  • Take the stairs if you are able, instead of the elevator, especially if you live in a building with 3 or less floors.
  • Share appliances like microwaves and fridges with your roommate, neighbor, and community rather than having your own.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor at the end of the day.
  • Participate in the annual Residence Energy Challenge. This is essential in further developing a campus culture of sustainability and in moving the University towards climate neutrality by the end of 2015. The Energy Challenge brings awareness to residents' energy consuming habits, engages residents in energy-conserving behaviors, and encourages residents to be engaged in identifying inefficiencies that we can improve.

Recent news about energy

Campus utility improvements enable smart energy management
Campus utility improvements enable smart energy management

The Utilities department has recently achieved a milestone regarding electricity distribution and power management--paving the way for a smart microgrid at SCU.

Martina Sbicca: Engineering with Millennials in Mind
Martina Sbicca: Engineering with Millennials in Mind

Martina Sbicca, ‘16, has big goals for a small house. Along with a team of other SCU students of various majors, Martina plans to combine her passions for sustainability and architecture by creating a tiny house with Millennials in mind.

News and Events
News and Events

Transportation Survey | ESS Department Seminars | Wedlocked: A Critical Perspective on Marriage Rights/Rites | The Great Solar Disruption | Marriage Equality: Supreme Court Update | Successful Backyard Birdhouses Workshop | SCOOPS: Running an Energy-Efficient Organization | Careers for the Common Good Panel & Networking Event | Towards a Jurisprudence of Gender Equality | LOCALS: Save energy to save money! | Food Security: Integrating Science and Business | How Ethical is Climate Neutrality?

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053