On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Facilities Services began the first phase of our energy conservation plan with the goal of saving campus energy resources during the university's closure. 

David A. Palacios, Director of Energy & Engineering & the Campus Energy Manager, outlines the goal of the building setbacks, "one of our main priorities during the campus closure is to effectively manage our buildings and infrastructure by further minimizing energy consumption and reducing utility costs. We feel that this is a great opportunity to maximize on our efficiency and sustainability practices for the university while providing safe, reliable and efficient utility services. Protecting our environment and reducing carbon emissions is our ultimate goal for UC Riverside, which we are proud to be part of." 

This plan will impact buildings with low to no occupancy and will end prior to the return of normal campus business operations. The details of how the setbacks will impact selected buildings are listed below. 

The energy conservation plan will impact: 

  • Comfort systems including air conditioning, ventilation, and heating will operate on a reduced schedule. 
    • Building air pressure and temperature fluctuations are expected. 
    • Computer servers located in Sproul Hall and Watkins Hall should not be affected and temperature shall remain within tolerances. Please notify us with any of your equipment HVAC concerns. 
  • Lighting, light fixtures and any other lighting apparatus will be turned off by Facilities Services prior to the implementation of energy conservation measures. 
    • Please make sure to turn off computers and other equipment when not in use.
    • Overhead lights
      • Lights can be turned on by a user, if needed. 
      • Please turn off lights when you leave your office/building.


The first phase of building setbacks started Wednesday, April 15, 2020: 

  • Arts
  • Highlander Union Building (HUB) 
  • Orbach Science Library 
  • Rivera Library 

The second phase of building setbacks will begin the week of April 27, 2020 and will include: 

  • Humanities & Social Sciences Buildings 
  • Sproul Hall
  • Watkins Hall 
  • Anderson Hall 
  • University Lecture Hall 

The third phase of building setbacks will begin the week of May 20, 2020 and will include: 

  • Career Center
  • College Building North
  • Skye Hall
  • Student Services Building


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: Is the electricity going to be turned off in the building?
A: No, the electricity will not be turned off in the building. 

Q: Will Facilities Services turn off my computer? 
A: No, Facilities Services will not turn off any computers. 

Q: Is Facilities Services going to turn off the HVAC system? 
A: No. The HVAC system will be adjusted into the "away" mode. Similar to the mode we have in our personal homes when no one is occupying the space, the temperatures and building air pressure may fluctuate, but will remain within 68 - 78 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Q: What if I have sensitive equipment that needs to be at a certain temperature at all times?
A: If there is sensitive equipment that needs a constant temperature in order to operate or to remain within manufacture specifications, please contact Facilities Services so we can be aware. We will work with you in making sure that the Energy Conservation implementation does not affect it. 

Q: What if I am essential personnel/know someone who is, and they will be coming into the building that Facilities Services mentioned will have Energy Conservation measures in place? 
A: If essential personnel need to come into a building that has Energy Conservation measures in place, please let Facilities Services know so we can set the temperature to a suitable comfort setting. 

Q: At what time will this energy conservation method begin?
A: The energy conservation method is set to start at the beginning date of this notice, with Facilities Services making sure the settings are in place and operational by the end of the day. 

Q: Will Facilities Services enter individual offices to turn off the lights? 
A: No, Facilities Services will not enter individual offices to turn of lights. Lights will be turned off in common areas. 

Q: I am working from home and using remote access to my computer. What will happen to my connection?
A: Facilities Services will not turn off any computers. If you cannot remote connect to your computer, we recommend that you contact Information Technology Solutions at (951) 827-4721 or email them at

Q: Why is Facilities Services doing this? 
A: In order to conserve natural resources during the campus closure, Facilities Services in coordination with UCR leadership is implementing the energy conservation measures through certain buildings on campus that have been identified as having little to non-essential personnel working within. 

Q: I have a question that is not on this list. Who do I contact? 
A: Contact David Palacios, Campus Energy Manager via email: or phone: (951) 827-4726. 

For questions regarding building setbacks, contact Director of Energy & Engineering and Campus Energy Manager, We appreciate your support as we implement these energy conservation measures, as well as the efforts of the UCR community to promote a safe and sustainable campus environment during this campus closure.