Energy Programs and Rebates

Laboratories are some of the most energy intensive spaces on Stanford's campus. On average, laboratory buildings consume 3-5 times more energy than office buildings. Office of Sustainability has a number of resources to help you conserve energy, including a number of free tools and rebates. You can earn points toward your reward in My Cardinal Green for completing lab sustainability actions, many of which have a high point value - and impact! 

Install Timers on lab equipment

Laboratory equipment makes up approximately 11% of Stanford’s electricity consumption. One easy way to reduce energy is to turn equipment off when not in use. Often times lab equipment is left on during the day, but could be turned off at night and on weekends. Outlet timers can shut down and start up equipment automatically at set times, cutting off the electricity to equipment when not needed. Outlet timers have shown to reduce equipment energy consumption up to 50%, resulting in energy cost savings for the lab and department. Timers can also reduce the fire hazard risk of having electrical heating equipment on when no one is in the lab. The Cardinal Green Labs program provides free timers and installation. Find out how.

Ultra Low Temperature Freezers and Equipment Rebates

If you work in a lab that uses cold storage (e.g. refrigerators or freezers) you are undoubtedly already keenly aware that these types of equipment consume a significant amount of energy. But did you know that a standard -80 freezer can consume nearly as much energy as a single-family home? There are a number of ways to optimize performance of your cold storage. 

Regular Maintenance

The typical lifespan of an ultra-low-temperature freezer is 12-15 years. Properly maintaining your ULT freezer will increase its useful life, reduce temperature fluctuations, and minimize energy consumption. View resources and how-to guides to help ensure that you are getting the most from your freezer. 

"Chill Up" the Set Point

One easy way to reduce the energy consumption of your ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer is to change the set point from -80 degrees Celsius to -70 degrees Celsius. Chilling up your freezer will save over 1000 kWh and over $100 in energy costs every year. It also prolongs your freezer’s lifespan.

Click here for more information on chilling up your ULT freezers.

Rebates for Ultra Low Temperature Freezers and Bio-Safety Cabinets

Buying a new ultra-low temperature freezer or bio-safety cabinet? Rebates are available for choosing energy efficient models, whether you are replacing an old freezer or purchasing new equipment. The table below provides details on the potential rebate amount available for efficient freezer types. Additionally, you can receive a rebate of up to $2,800 for a new or replacement brushless, direct current bio-safety cabinet, such as Thermo Scientfiec's  1300 series, which use an average of 70% less energy than other models.

Freezer Model

Replacement Rebate

New Purchase Rebate
Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen  up to $9,620 up to $6,130
Stirling Ultracold up to $6,610 up to $3,130
Panasonic VIP Eco up to $6,510 up to $3,030
Thermo Scientific TSX400 up to $5,880 up to $2,390
Thermo Scientific TSX500 up to $5,320 up to $1,830
Thermo Scientific TSX600 up to $5,210 up to $1,730
Thermo Scientific TSX700 up to $4,580 up to $1,090

Rebate Process: 

Step 1: Fill out a replacement freezer rebate applicationnew purchase freezer rebate application, or bio-safety cabinet application to ensure that you qualify. Funds are limited and rebates are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Step 2: Schedule a laboratory waste or sustainable lab operations training with OOS. Trainings must be attended by at least 10 people or the majority of lab members. 

Step 3: Submit proof of purchase and delivery of the freezer or bio-safety cabinet, as well as proof of disposal of the old equipment (if replacing one) to OOS. 

Step 4: Receive rebate. Once all paperwork is received, eligibility was confirmed, and the training was completed, the funds will be transferred to the PTA listed on the application. 

Remember, the easiest way to save energy consumed by bio-safety cabinets is to turn them off when not in use! 

Other Lab Equipment Rebates

Rebates can also be provided for other types of lab equipment, such as incubators and lasers, if proven energy-efficient models are purchased. Contact Annalise Di Santo to initiate the process. 


In 2009, Stanford piloted a novel technology that promises to reduce energy consumption, achieve sustainability goals, and optimize laboratory space. Using a proprietary stabilization technology, biological samples that are typically stored frozen can be stored at room temperature. Laboratories can reduce dependency on costly freezers and reduce both energy consumption and their carbon footprint. Moreover, the risk of losing valuable research in an emergency is reduced as biological sample storage no longer relies on electricity. Read a full report of the Room Temperature Biological Sample Storage Pilot.

The Cardinal Green Labs Program is offering a full rebate for room temperature storage starter kits! If your lab is interested in trying one out, please contact Annalise Di Santo. In return, we will ask you to fill out a brief user experience survey.