Penn State conducting energy test on Thursday

Penn State employees are being urged to shut off all unneeded lights, coffee pots and other items that plug into an outlet for an hour Thursday afternoon to see how much it lowers the electrical load.

The test from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday is to see how much the university can reduce its capacity during a power emergency. It’s part of an emergency demand response program in which participants would pledge to reduce their energy use to avoid a blackout.

A test last year reduced the power load by 17,000 kw, or nearly 40 percent of the normal load.

Last year, Penn State spent $15 million on electricity for the University Park campus.

Penn State recommends that employees shut off all office equipment and lights; unplug all electronic devices, such as cellphones and digital cameras; keep outside doors closed in air-conditioned buildings and close all windows.