As part of ongoing work to create efficiencies and to reduce costs, IUP will continue its Winter Utilities Savings Program during the 2023–24 winter break. The program builds on the success of the Winter 2022–23 and Summer 2022 and 2023 Utilities Savings Pilot Program.

After careful study of these Pilot Programs, including thorough feedback and analysis of the ability to serve our students and families and employee productivity, going forward, the Winter and Summer Utilities Saving Program will become part of our normal operating procedures.

The cornerstone principles of the Utilities Savings Program remain:

  • 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; and
  • Meeting overall departmental needs and balancing all employee work schedules within the department.

The 2023–24 Winter Utilities Saving Program will begin Monday, December 18, 2023, and will continue through Monday, January 15, 2024. Normal in-person operations will resume on Tuesday, January 16, 2024. The ending date was selected to allow for planning and preparation for spring semester instruction, which will begin Monday, January 22, 2024.

The goal of the Winter Utilities Savings Program 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 Monday, December 18, 2023, through Monday, January 15, 2024.

Employees with work duties that require physically working on-site will continue to do so (e.g., police officers, 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 for in-person, remote, and 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, permits 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 Tuesday, January 16, 2024. 

The established university office holiday closures of December 25, 2023, and January 1, 2024, are unchanged. Employees hired before February 20, 2023, should not be working on December 26, 27 or 29, as they are compensatory days for holidays earlier in the year when the university was open. The university will be open on Thursday, December 28, 2023.

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.

Looking Forward: Summer 2024 Utilities Savings Program

The Summer Utilities Savings Program for 2024 is scheduled from Monday, May 13, 2024, to Monday, August 12, 2024, returning to normal operations on Monday, August 12, 2024. Most of the details of the program will be similar to the Summer Utilities Savings Program for 2023.

Plans are being developed for a “blackout week” of mostly remote operations throughout campus during the week of July 4, 2024 (July 1 to July 5, 2024). More information will be shared about the Summer Utilities Savings Program and “blackout week” as details are finalized.

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we work together to maintain the highest level of service to our students and families while following measures to reduce university operational costs.