Four Day Work Week To Save Energy

Posted by: Kenny Chan onAugust 11th, 2008

Rising energy costs has resulted in behavior changes everywhere. Car buyers are looking at more fuel efficient models and some are changing the way they drive to save gas. Even airlines now are slowing down their planes to save fuel. Of course, the best way to save money is to stop driving cars completely and turning off all the lights and air conditioning systems in our homes and offices, a bit extreme but not practical.

Or is it? This week the Utah State Government switched to a 4 day workweek. Instead of employees working 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, they now work 10 hours a day for 4 days a week. On Fridays; the lights stay off, the heating and air conditioning systems are off, and 17,000 state employees are off the road. State officials are estimating they will save nearly $3M in one year, about 20% of the total energy cost.

Gov. Jon Huntsman is testing the new 4 day work week for one year, after which results on whether or not it is successful will be clear.

Gov. Huntsman stated this is a one-year experiment, and I think it’ll take at least a year to figure it out,” said Kerry Carpenter, an enforcement engineer for the Division of Water Rights. “What might seem like a pretty good idea in July and August might not seem like such a hot deal in January and February, leaving before it gets light and getting home an hour after it gets dark.”

The energy savings is impressive considering that only 1000 of the state’s 3000 buildings are affected by the new 4 day work week. 7,000 other state employees will still be working the standard 5 day work week. If this experiment proves to be successful, a full scale state government shutdown on Fridays would yield some significant savings. I personally would love to work a 4 day work week and enjoy all the long weekends!

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  1. mike says:

    This is a great idea for more than just state governments. In Massachusetts, the Town of Douglas closes the town hall on Fridays, and extends certain days a week so residents can have night hours to conduct business. Also, the local Vocational school closes on Fridays in the Winter to save energy, so they open earlier, like the third week of August. Thanks for the post.

  2. […] costs by reducing energy consumption. Earlier this month, the Utah State Department imposed a 4 day work week resulting in over $3M in savings […]

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