Department of Housing and Urban Development

Reasonable A/C and Heating

My concern is primarily with the waste of over-air-conditioning in the summer and similarly, over-heating in winter. As my mother used to say whenever we kids complained about the house being cold in winter: you need to put on a sweater! The point is you should dress appropriately to match the weather (whether that's light clothes in summer or warm in winter). One of the most wasteful practices I have observed by several colleagues (and I don't blame them for this) is the use of individual electric heaters in the summer (when it's 100 degrees in DC), because they are so cold from the A/C. This is obviously ridiculous and wasteful. The U.S. Dept of Energy has noted that heating and cooling accounts for 56% of energy usage in a typical home. We should set the example in federal buildings that heat and a/c should be used to make people more comfortable, but to a reasonable degree. if it's 100 degrees out in a DC summer, it is unnatural to put the A/C down to 60 or even 65. People can be comfortable in 70 or even 75, and dress code should be adjusted accordingly so people are not expected to wear suits.

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Idea No. 14104