E-Net News

Spring POWERless competition begins Feb. 26

A semesterly residential contest that challenges students in residence halls to use less energy starts this week and ends just before Spring Break.

An energy conservation competition among students living on campus begins Wednesday, Feb. 26, and ends March 19 as students prepare to leave for Spring Break.

A free screening of the film The City Dark kicks off the contest at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in McKinnon Hall.

To date, students have conserved 773,656kWh, over the course of all Elon’s 10 previous POWERless competitions, the equivalent of more than 800,000 pounds of coal or 400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The goal for the spring 2014 competition is to reduce energy consumption in all residential neighborhoods by 10 percent.

Savings will be added to those of other universities and colleges across the nation for Campus Conservation Nationals.

Neighborhoods are divided into Division I or Division II categories based on occupancy to allow for more equal comparisons. During the competition, energy use is tracked through Building Dashboard, a system providing real-time energy use for most buildings that allows consumption to be compared. It also converts kWhs to the equivalent dollar savings and carbon emissions.

At the end of the three-week competition, the POWERless trophy will be presented to each top conserving neighborhood in Division I and Division II.  Students who ‘Commit to Conserve’ on the Building Dashboard or take the Sustainability Pledge during the competition will be entered into a raffle to win Phoenix cash or a solar charger. They will also be placed into a second raffle if they reside in the building that conserves the most energy in their division.

“POWERless gives students the opportunity to reduce negative impacts associated with energy use by discovering and creating small daily habits that cut down on energy consumption while allowing them go about their normal day,” said Jessica Bilecki, the education and outreach coordinator for Elon's Office of Sustainability.

Individual actions do add up. For example, if every student living on campus air dried their clothes just one time a month, an estimated 87,285 kwh of electricity would be conserved every academic year. That is enough to power more than 91 North Carolina homes for a month.

The contest is part of broader university efforts to reduce energy consumption and work toward carbon neutrality by the year 2037.

To learn more about previous competitions, visit the POWERless website  Students interested in learning more about how to contribute in their neighborhood should contact their Eco-Rep

- Information submitted by Jessica Bilecki in the Office of Sustainability

Eric Townsend,
2/24/2014 4:15 PM