Winter Break Shutdown Checklist for Schools

Could your school benefit from some extra savings on energy bills? If the answer is “You bet!” simple energy efficiency “shut-down” measures over the winter break can deliver that holiday gift and leave more money for academic needs.


  • Check that all windows and doors to the outside are closed and locked.
  • Open blinds to allow for warming (unless a security issue).
  • Make a quick walkthrough of your building at the end of the last day of school to see how you’re doing and identify any potential problems.


  • Check all drinking fountains, faucets, showers, and toilets for water leaks.
  • Turn off any automatic flushing systems.
  • Check water meters to verify there is not use (movement of the meter) due to water leaks.
  • Turn off all water heaters that will not be needed.  Approved technicians only.


  • If possible, turn off, or unplug drinking fountains containing individual refrigeration units.
  • Consolidate items from multiple refrigerators into one and clean out/unplug others.
  • Milk coolers not in use should be turned off.


  • Check to make sure that all unnecessary electrical appliances are turned off and unplugged.  This includes copiers, computers, printers, television, fax machines, radios, water coolers, sound systems and task lighting.
  • Unplug vending machines (be sure to inform the vendor).
  • Check computer labs.  Turn off and unplug computers, monitors, speaker, projectors and printers.
  • Turn off intercom and classroom bell systems.


  • For exterior lights that will be operated during the break, check that time clocks are set correctly and are working.
  • Turn off all display case lighting.
  • Whenever possible, turn off all interior lights except exit/security lighting.


  • Set temperatures to 55 degrees in all parts of the building.
  • Confirm that all kitchen equipment, both gas and electric, and turned off.  Only an approved technician can turn on and off pilot lights.
  • Check to see that all compressors used in auto, wood, or other shops are turned off.
  • Turn off all automatic and manual exhaust fans.  Review the need for building ventilation and shut down all unnecessary ventilation fans.  Only an approved technician can turn on and off exhaust fans unless they have an easily accessible switch such as those near a light switch.
  • Adjust your HVAC time clocks according to required schedules.
  • Turn of electric water heaters at circuit box.  Turn off any hot water boosters for kitchen dishwashers.  Approved technicians only.
  • Turn off domestic hot water circulating pumps, if feasible.  Approved technicians only.