POWERless Energy Competition under way

The POWERless Energy Competition returned to Elon University this semester for a seven-week contest to see which residence halls can best reduce their electricity usage. The competition began Feb. 17 with a kick-off event at College Coffee.

Paul Holt, maintenance control manager at Elon, demonstrates at a College Coffee in 2008 the real-time, web-based energy meters that students can view to see how much power their residence hall is consuming at a given moment.

Organizers say the goal of POWERless is to improve energy habits and raise awareness of energy conservation while making a positive impact on the planet. Forty residence halls will take part in the competition, and university workers have already measured baseline energy readings from sub-meters on buildings across campus.

Students will be competing to reduce energy use in their building based on that baseline power consumption. The competition will determine which building and area has the largest percentage energy reduction at the end of the competition.

Two divisions will be created this year to enhance the competition based on occupancy size Residents of the building in each division with the largest reduction in energy consumption will receive an environmentally friendly T-shirt. The name of the top residence area in each division will be added to the custom-made oak trophy with an optical crystal figurine lit by an L.E.D. array that derives its power from a hand crank generator.

Every residential building reported a reduction in energy consumption in 2008 over the contest period. Loy G, H and I was named the building winner with a 23.8% reduction, and the residential area winner was the Loy Center with a 15.1% reduction.

The majority of residence halls on campus have web-based power consumption metering that allow occupants to see real-time energy usage for their building. Check out the real-time energy usage Web site by clicking on the link to the right. Meters in other buildings will be read manually on a weekly basis.

Weekly results will be posted to E-net, with a “tip of the week” for reducing electricity usage.? For more information on the competition, come out to College Coffee on Feb. 17 from 9:40-10:20 a.m.

Read more about the competition by clicking on the POWERless Energy Competition link to the right.