Students in three residence halls–Franklin, Madison and Jefferson–will compete this month to see which one can save the most energy as a part of the Campus Conservation Nationals.
The national competition, now in its third year, shines a spotlight on the importance of energy conservation, encouraging students to take steps to reduce their energy consumption and reap the environmental and economic rewards that come along with it. More than 200 colleges and universities nationwide are participating in the three-week competition.
“Since individual energy use is hard to track, we often take for granted the energy wasted when we leave the lights on or keep our charger plugged into the wall,” said Katie Herber ’14, a student in the M.S. in Sustainable Design program, who helped organize the competition at PhilaU.
“By monitoring the energy their building is consuming in real time, students can see that small changes to their behavior can add up to significant savings in energy,” she said. “I hope that students will continue to be aware of their energy use and their impact on the environment after the competition ends.”
Students can see just how much energy they’re saving by visiting the PhilaU Campus Conservation Nationals website. The site offers hourly kilowatt readings for all three halls, allowing students to track their building’s energy consumption and keep an eye on their competition. In addition, the site is able to translate a building’s energy use into something more tangible, such as how many trees are needed to offset building emissions, helping students visualize just how green they can be. The winning hall will get a pizza party and a chance to win additional prizes and gift cards through a raffle.
The website also offers simple tips to help conserve precious watts, such as turning off lights and computers when they are not needed, closing entrance doors to conserve heat, unplugging appliances when not in use and using cold water settings on laundry machines to save energy.
Campus Conservation Nationals is the largest nationwide electricity and water reduction competition on college and university campuses. The PhilaU competition is supported by Delaware River Waterfront Corp., Grid magazine, Friends of the Wissahickon, United by Blue, Falls Flowers, Powersmiths WOW and Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP.
For a full list of conservation tips, information about the competition and up-to-the-minute standings, click here.