Jan 20, 2015

Are you ready to “Turn Off For Watt” Lights Out for a Greener Hilltop!? On February 3-24, 2015, St. Edward’s University will be participating in Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), the largest electricity reduction competition for colleges and universities around the world! As this is St. Edward’s first time participating in this competition, schools and residence halls decided to jump in and give it a try. The competition will be between 10 St. Edward’s academic and residential buildings:

  •     ACADEMIC: JBWNSC, Trustee Hall, Doyle Hall, Holy Cross Hall, and Fleck Hall; and
  •     RESIDENTIAL: East Hall, Teresa Hall, Dujarié Hall, Basil Moreau Hall, the residential village, and Casa

The building that can achieve the greatest percentage reduction in electricity consumption will be awarded a water bottle refilling station! The goal is to reduce electricity consumption by 5%, but don’t let this goal limit your ambition; aim for a greater decrease!

CCN motivates thousands of students across North America, to work together in an effort to reduce the consumption and carbon emissions released on campus in order to mitigate the impacts of global climate change. The competition provides students and staff with the opportunity of organizing educational events, activities, and challenges that will leave a positive, immediate, and lasting impact on the St. Edward’s University campus.

Turn off for WATT? For a greener hilltop! Saving energy doesn’t have to be difficult; if we each do our part we can work towards a brighter future on the hilltop! For more information about how YOU can get involved, including energy saving tips and FAQs, scroll down! Check out our video here.

FAQs

How will the winner be determined?

The building that decreases its electricity consumption by the highest percentage will be declared the winner. This decrease will be measured against the buildings’ own baselines that were calculated prior to the competition over a week-long period, ensuring that different building sizes, features, and purposes will not hamper chances of winning. The 5% consumption reduction goal is not a requirement, but more of a guideline for all buildings to shoot for. The chance to win is an incentive to get us all to do our part in reducing our university’s carbon footprint!

Why were these 10 buildings chosen?

  • The academic buildings were chosen because they house each of the schools at St. Edward’s. These schools are key players because they involve students, faculty, and staff; and therefore, have a wide reach in encouraging a range of St. Edward’s community members to engage in the competition and work together to reduce our university’s carbon footprint.
  • The residential halls were chosen because they are centers for student life and help educate students to become responsible citizens. “Turn Off For Watt” Lights Out for a Greener Hilltop! can further encourage students to learn how environmental issues impact their finances.
  • We realize that this is not a perfect formula, but because it’s the inaugural year for St. Edward’s we thought it best to start small. If this year’s competition is a success, we would like to expand next year’s to include all buildings. If you don’t live or work in one of this year’s participating buildings, you can always “train” for next year by implementing some of the energy-saving strategies in your own space.

Who is sponsoring this competition?

Students for Sustainability, Facilities Department, and the Office of Sustainability. Bon Appétit also contributed to this competition by providing us with lightning bolt-shaped cookies, coffee, and space for the launch party on February 3rd in Hunt Hall. Topper TV contributed to the video for the competition. Student volunteers also donated their time and creativity! They came up with the theme for the competition, preliminary graphics, music, video production, and gave their time to measure the buildings’ electricity consumption.

How can I help decrease energy consumption in my building?
We’re glad you asked! Here are some energy-saving tips to try:

  •     Get rid of phantom energy by unplugging electronics such as laptops, cell phone chargers, and televisions when not in use. This can save you up to 10% of energy.
  •     Enable the sleep settings on your computer monitor. Screen savers do not save energy but sleep settings do.
  •     Turn off your computer when not in use or switch your computer to energy saving or sleep mode. This can save up to 500lbs of CO2 a year.
  •     Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you take two flights of stairs every day, you’re saving about 72 kilowatts of energy.
  •     Turn off PCs, monitors, printers, copiers, coffeepots, and lights every night and on weekends. If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.
  •     Closing window shades when it's cold will insulate the heat in your room at night, and leaving shades open during the day makes it warmer.
  •     Avoid using personal space heaters. One space heater can consume the same amount of energy that it would take to run 50 6x4 fluorescent lamps!
  •     If appropriate, use ink-jet printers -- they consume 95% less energy than laser printers. Similarly, laptops use 90% less energy than desktop computers.
  •     When purchasing PCs, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, look for Energy Star models.
  •     Print double-sided and use email instead of sending memos and faxes.
  •     Remember to wash only full loads of laundry using cold water instead of hot.
  •     Always turn off any light that doesn’t need to be on and save electricity by using light from the sun whenever you can.