As part of ongoing work to create efficiencies and to reduce costs, a Winter Utilities Savings Program will be implemented for the 2022–23 winter break. The program builds on the success of the Summer 2022 Utilities Savings Pilot Program, which saved the university approximately $300,000.

The cornerstone principles of the Winter Utilities Savings Program are:

  • Ensuring continuity of academic, research, and student services;
  • Positioning employees and offices to become more student-focused;
  • Maintaining the highest level of service to students, employees, families, and other important constituent groups to move the university forward;
  • Meeting overall departmental needs and balancing all employee work schedules within the department.

The four-week Winter Utilities Saving Program for FY 2022–23 will start on Monday, December 12, 2022, and will continue through Saturday, January 8, 2023. Normal operations will resume on Monday, January 9. The ending date was selected to allow for planning and preparation for spring semester instruction to begin on January 17.

The goal of the Winter Utilities Savings Program for 2022–23 is to reduce costs as much as possible by reducing the employee footprint and energy use in campus buildings and facilities.

To meet this goal, all employees whose work functions can be conducted remotely, as determined by their supervisor, should work remotely from December 12, 2022, through January 8, 2023.

Employees with work duties that require physically working on-site will continue to do so (e.g., police officers, resident directors, facilities staff, etc.) Vice presidents and division heads are responsible for approving and managing any remote or hybrid work for their employees and offices, based on the four principles of the program (noted above).

Official IUP business hours, both in-person or remote or hybrid work for the Winter Utilities Savings Program period, will be Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break for employees. The compressed hours, similar to what the university does in the summer, allow for earlier utility setbacks for temperature control settings. 

Note that regular business hours of Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. resumes on Monday, January 9. 

The established university office holiday closures of December 26, 27, 28, and 30, and January 2, 2023, are unchanged.

There are some exceptions to these business hours and remote/hybrid work operations:

  • The facilities and maintenance operational departments will operate as currently scheduled.

  • The Office of Public Safety (Police) and S.W. Jack Cogeneration Plant will remain open and staffed on a 24-hour every day basis, including during holiday office closures.

An additional benefit of reducing the employee footprint on campus through the Winter Utilities Savings program is the ability to facilitate additional maintenance projects.

Unused parking lots will be identified and closed during this period to allow for prioritized snow removal (based on university occupancy) to allow for more impactful clearing and a safer winter environment. There will also be a reduced need for campus-wide custodial coverage, which will allow for targeted mobile labor groups to concentrate on areas of continuing activity and to assist with winter project completion.

Reducing The Building “Footprint” and Reducing Energy Costs

The energy needs and status of all buildings have been assessed. Every facility will be closely monitored throughout the winter to maximize energy efficiencies, and appropriate changes will be made as building usage changes.

Under the Winter Utilities Savings Program, the following general guidelines will be in place:

  • Scheduled classes for winter session are being offered through distance education.
  • Buildings/building areas without classes or other instructional or essential work functions will be shut down during this time period; employees can still access the buildings if needed.
  • Occupancy in buildings will be reduced to the extent possible, without compromising services.
  • Temperature settings in buildings will be standardized and controlled remotely (including during holidays, weekends, and evenings), making any necessary considerations for laboratories with animals, computers and other highly sensitive equipment, and musical instruments.

In order for this program to be successful and to maintain planned student instruction and services, all classes, meetings, events, and other activities, both instructional and non-instructional, must be entered into the 25Live system, IUP’s system of record, so that appropriate planning can be done. 

An intentional added benefit to the Winter Utilities Savings Program is reducing IUP’s carbon footprint beyond energy savings, including travel and transportation costs of employees and others. Additional opportunities related to reduced energy use and environmental impact continue to be discussed.

Information about employee-related matters related to the Winter Utilities Saving Project should be directed to Human Resources; questions or concerns regarding individual buildings or heating of buildings and areas within buildings can be addressed to the Office of Facilities Maintenance and Operations at or 724-357-2710.

Next Steps

The Winter Utilities Savings Program for winter of 2022–23 will be assessed for the impact on savings and to determine if there was any disruption to continuity of services, especially service to students. If results are positive, there is a potential for continuation of the program, either in the winter 2022–23 format, or a refined version, based on assessment of the winter 2022–23 program.

It is anticipated that a more robust implementation of a summer utilities savings program will take place for summer 2023.

We will continue to develop and implement efficiency measures that could be used throughout the year, as well as during the Utilities Savings Program periods.