University of Calgary

PowerOFF challenge runs until Dec. 10

UToday HomeDecember 7, 2012

Alicia Gabilondo, residence SustainabilityON coordinator for Kananaskis Hall, is excited that her residence building is among the leaders in PowerOFF. Photo courtesy of the Office of SustainabilityAlicia Gabilondo, residence SustainabilityON coordinator for Kananaskis Hall, is excited that her residence building is among the leaders in PowerOFF. Photo courtesy of the Office of SustainabilityCompetition remains hot as campus members continue to power off. Staff, students and faculty are competing to reduce the most energy from their respective baselines by turning off lights, computers and equipment until December 10.

Taking the lead for the second week in a row is the Olympic Oval with a 12 per cent reduction. Tied for second place are the Health Science Centre and Kananaskis/Norquay Hall with 9 per cent reductions, while the Physical Plant takes third place again with a 7 per cent reduction. The lead buildings achieved a combined savings of 49,000 kilowatt hours.

While Kananaskis/Norquay Hall holds second place in the campus wide competition, it is also leading all residence buildings for the second week in a row.

Changing simple behaviors such as turning of lights and equipment when leaving a room can account for a significant portion of overall reductions. Alicia Gabilondo, residence SustainabilityON coordinator for Kananaskis Hall found that the best way to get occupants to change their habits was to lead by example.

“When people walk into a common area such as a washroom or common lounge and see that the lights are already off, they are more likely to turn off the lights when they leave because they see it’s okay to power off in public spaces,” says Gabilondo.

Gabilando noticed that when lights in public spaces are left on people perceive it as common courtesy to keep them on and do not act to change these habits. People begin to see the action as acceptable when those around them participate in that same action.

Other ways to help your building reduce energy include using power bars to help power off multiple devices at once, closing windows and doors, and turning down the thermostat by at least two degrees if possible. Talk to your local SustainabilityON Coordinator to learn more about saving energy.

For more stories on how students, staff and faculty are stepping up together to turn SustainabilityON at the University of Calgary or to learn how you can get involved, visit: www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability