Students save 23,000 kWh of electricity in university-wide competition

Our students have launched a new initiative to reduce energy and raise awareness. Here, wind turbines generate power on our York Hill Campus. Nearby, roof-top photovoltaic panels gather power from the sun.

By Amelia Houghton ‘14

Quinnipiac University students have slashed their energy consumption over the past month as part of a university-wide residence hall challenge.

Larson College Hall took top honors in the Residence Hall Electricity Competition Challenge. Residents of the residence hall continuously reduced their electric consumption, edging out Mountain by 2 percent. As a whole, the residence halls reduced their energy consumption by 9 percent as compared to their overall three-week average. Approximately 23,000 kilowatt hours were saved in the three-week competition that kicked off March 23. During this time, students in 13 residence halls competed to reduce their electricity usage.

The competition was sponsored by Students for Environmental Action, the Sustainability Committee and Quinnipiac’s Facilities Department.

Students tracked their building’s energy usage online at Quinnipiac’s Building Dashboard page.

This competition made a huge difference. Although it may seem small, nine percent is an incredible amount of energy that was saved by just making relatively small changes.

To put things into perspective, the amount of energy saved was enough to meet the energy demands of Ledges for a week, Irma for a month or Complex for two months!

In greater terms, 23,000 kWh is enough to power more than 900 Connecticut homes for a day or 30 homes for a month. A window fan could be powered for 13 years, a flat screen television for 20 years, a clock radio for 250 years and a fluorescent light bulb could shine for 400 years.

It is important for students to realize the difference they could make by making more ecofriendly decisions. My hope is that this competition has made students more aware of what they could do to help reduce our collective footprint on the planet – and hopefully starting down the path of making a lifetime of more environmentally-conscious decisions.

Going to college isn’t just about passing the classes you need to get your degree or learning the information you will need in your future career, it’s about so much more. Things like friendships, campus involvement and the habits and values we have are also very important things we learn in college.

If everyone could be as involved, or more involved, as they were in this competition, we could turnaround the negative impact we are having on our planet and make a big difference.

I hope that the things the students have been doing during the past three weeks are things they will continue to do throughout their lifetime.

Students can become more environmentally aware by joining Students for Environmental Action. We meet each Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. in Tator Hall 232. Students can connect with the group on Facebook and Twitter.


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