For the fifth year in a row, the Virginia Tech community exceeded its goal during Light’s Out!/Power Down! 2014 held on the Blacksburg campus June 26 between 2 and 3 p.m.

Preliminary results indicate the university reduced its campus electrical demand to an average 18,575 kilowatts for the hour. The goal was 21,000 kilowatts for the hour. By exceeding its goal, the university qualifies for a $130,714 payment.

Lights Out!/Power Down! is an annual event that demonstrates the university’s ability to reduce energy consumption in the event of an electrical grid emergency condition that could result in grid outages.

As a large consumer of electricity, Virginia Tech is enrolled in “Emergency Demand Response (Load Management)”, a peak demand response program that pays customers in exchange for a commitment to reduce electrical load in the event of an electrical grid emergency condition that could result in outages.

Such commitments by large electricity consumers help electrical utility companies to meet the peak demand that typically occurs during hot, humid summer afternoons and early evenings. Program participants must successfully demonstrate for one hour their ability to meet their load reduction commitment.

“We achieved our goal by reducing air conditioning in non-critical areas, turning off lighting, and turning off or unplugging equipment such as computers, appliances, and other electronics during the hour,” said Fred Selby, campus energy manager with Facilities Services.

The successful demonstration sets the stage for the rest of the 2014 summer peak demand season. As a program participant, the university remains on load reduction standby each Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. through the end of September in the event of an actual grid emergency.

In both 2012 and 2013, the university was required to reduce its campus electrical demand for actual “Load Reduction Emergency” events.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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