AUSTIN, Texas—–>WHAT/WHEN: The Tower at The University of Texas at Austin will be left dark on Monday nights from Feb. 12 through May 7 as a symbolic measure to remind the University community of the need to participate in energy-saving efforts.
WHERE: The Tower at The University of Texas at Austin main campus.
BACKGROUND: With the sharp rise in natural gas prices, UT Austin is facing a significant obstacle in the form of soaring energy costs. The University is undertaking several major campus-wide steps to conserve energy and other measures are being explored.
The darkening of the Tower is among the proposals that have been suggested as energy-saving measures. UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner said the University had considered darkening the Tower altogether; however, lighting the Tower costs less than $5 per hour, so there are no great cost savings in taking that step. Darkening the Tower on Mondays, therefore, serves more as a reminder of the need to conserve energy.
“The lighted Tower is a great symbol of our University, and it has exceptional power for communication with our entire community. So, I do not think it wise to extinguish it, but I do think there is value in using it as a repeated reminder. We will return to normal lighting as the campus proceeds into Finals Week,” Faulkner said.
He noted that UT Austin is not alone in meeting this challenge of soaring energy costs. Almost all of the nationÌs institutions of higher education and government agencies are affected.
CONTACT: Dr. Peggy Kruger, Office of Public Affairs, (512) 471-3151.