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Sustainability & Energy Conservation

Vanderburgh House takes sustainability seriously. The choices we make in our home life can have a significant impact on the environment. Being thrifty with our utility use can also lower bills significantly, which means lower cost of living for our residents. While we can’t single-handedly save the world, we can make small lifestyle changes to help conserve energy and support better living practices.

Most of our policies are contained in the House Manager Handbook.


Electricity: Turn off lights, electronics, and appliances when not in use, limit the use of space heaters and air conditioners.

Water: Take shorter showers, shut off water when brushing teeth, and limit or eliminate outside watering.

Heating: Make sure doors and windows remain closed and sealed tight when heat or air condition is used. Make note of any drafty areas, missing insulation, doors and windows which cannot close completely, and let your Operator know.

Electricity: Homes should be supplied with LED lights, which are far more efficient than the old-style incandescent bulbs, and also more efficient than compact florescent bulbs (the curly-que bulbs). Regularly, you should make sure lightbulbs are still LEDs, as people may have replace them with less efficient units. High electric bills should be investigated. The home should be inspected regularly to make sure residents are shutting off lights and appliances when not in use.

Heating costs and energy use can be conserved by making sure doors and windows remain closed and sealed tight, and any drafty areas are attended to. Always leave doors and windows closed when any heating or cooling is being used. Make sure your House Managers are informing you of missing insulation or other issues where heated air can escape. Heat should be set to 68 degrees at all times with locked, programmable thermostats. House Managers should not change the heat settings without speaking with the Operator.

Water is a very valuable resource. Make sure House Managers are encouraging residents to take shorter showers, shut the water off when brushing teeth, and being mindful of water consumption. Our coin-operated laundry machines help cover the cost of water use, and also encourage residents to be mindful of how often they wash their clothing.

Recycling is available at most homes. Residents should recycle where possible all paper, plastic, metal, and glass, and make sure to wash out containers before recycling. For more information on your city’s recycling program, contact the city’s health department directly.

Composting food is encouraged by Vanderburgh House. This is an opportunity to turn food waste into great soil supplements for gardening. Make sure House Managers are aware of our policy and get them materials and information to compost correctly.


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