NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Energy Savings Offset by New Demands

Empty parking spaces in front of NLM
Rare sight—available parking on a weekday (Mar. 27). As NIH observes social-distancing and telework guidelines, NLM, like some other facilities, is temporarily shut down. As a result, less energy is being used for heating and cooling buildings.

Photo:  Brandon Hartz

With so few people on campus nowadays due to NIH’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, much less energy is being used to cool and heat campus buildings. Savings in that arena, however, have been offset by new demands.

As of press time, the Office of Research Facilities had not yet received NIH’s electric bill for March 2020. “However, regarding natural gas and fuel oil, March 2020 was 35 percent lower—on average—when compared to the months of March of 2015 through 2019,” said Brad Moss, ORF/ORS communication director.

However, he explained, offsetting these savings have been unprogrammed costs such as additional disinfection; air rebalancing in the Clinical Center to prepare for potential COVID-19 patients; construction of plexiglass safety guards; procurement of HEPA filters for potential COVID-19 patients; and engineering analyses to configure the Clinical Center for potential COVID-19 patients.  

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)