Phoenix College Students

Room Temperatures

Beginning July 1, 2014, the Chancellor's Executive Council decided to implement a temperature set point policy across the entire Maricopa District. This means the summer set point is 75° (with a 3° occupancy bias). Winter set point will be no more than 72° (with a 3° occupancy bias).

Why is the District implementing this?

The outcome of a study done at GCC found that by changing the summer set point to 75°, they could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 1,070 metric tons/year, and save up to $166,000 each year - simply for summer set points! By incorporating other room scheduling proposals for unoccupied spaces, that College could see up to $300k in utility savings per year. Multiply this savings potential—in CO2 and in dollars—across all MCCCD campuses and you'll see the astounding impact this simple change can make.

What does this mean?

This means, in general, the occupied buildings on campus will be set for 75° in the summer months and 72° in the winter months. The 3° bias means the temperature can fluctuate in the summer from 72°-78° before the air-conditioning kicks on or off and in the winter from 69°-72° before the heating kicks on or off.

Is it really that big of a change?

Currently, PC's buildings are set at various settings for multiple comfort preferences and space usage. In general, the ambient temperature for most offices and classrooms used to be 72°. Recently we have been moving the needle closer to 74° to make the transition a bit easier.

What if my office or classroom feels warmer than 75°?

In the past, adjusting your office or classroom temperature was easily done through the Operations department. After July 1, however, all temperature settings and adjustment requests will be routed through the District office. The colleges will no longer have direct control over local temperature settings.

If you feel your office or classroom is not within the set point range of 72-78°, please let Operations know at 602-285-7246 (or submit an online work order through School Dude) so we can check the thermostat to ensure its operating properly. Other requests may take 1-2 days as they will be routed through District Support Services.  Multiple requests submitted for the same area will be referred to District Support Services for further evaluation.

What have we done to prepare for this?

In preparation for this change, the HVAC Shop calibrated each sensor to ensure the temperature in the room is the same as what is showing in the energy management system (EMS). Recent requests for temperature indicate the rooms are within the set point +/- the bias so we feel we are good in this area.

What about meeting spaces, high activity rooms and other busy places?

District-wide, facility directors and other stakeholders have been identifying exceptions to the temperature set-point rules. These include spaces with peek occupancies (HC, SU, etc.), high activity rooms, ADA accommodations, chemical storage areas, etc. Rest assured, we have taken needs and space usage into account.

If the classroom has not been used for several hours, it helps if you enter the room a few minutes before your class begins in order to activate the automatic sensors in the room, signaling occupancy. The EMS will then begin to cool the room to the set point.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Doug McCarthy at 602-285-7245.