PSU Students ‘Doing It in the Dark’ Saves Energy

December 7th, 2007 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. –Plymouth State University students have saved thousands of dollars in electricity costs in a month-long energy conservation competition among residence halls.

Danielle Dustin, the Samuel Read Hall residence director and organizer of the Doing It in the Dark competition, says students saved 11,764 kilowatt hours of energy during the month of November. Those kilowatt hours saved in the residence halls are the equivalent of 196,067 60-watt light bulbs burning for 16 hours each.

“Those of us involved in running the competition were not sure whether students would participate or not, but we have been pleasantly surprised since the start of the event,” Dustin said.”This is really exciting.”

Dustin noted at the beginning of the competition that each on-campus student spends an average of $731 each semester on energy costs. In an effort to head off future cost increases, or to possibly even lower the current costs, students were asked to turn off and unplug computers, appliances and other such items when they were not being used, and to turn off the lights when they left their rooms or the various common areas. To help motivate the students, the winning residence hall was promised half priced laundry for a month and a t-shirt for each resident.

“Our student staff and residence hall directors were highly involved in advertising and motivating students to be involved,” Dustin said. “They believed in this and it shows in the final results.”

Here is a breakdown of how much energy each residence hall saved in the month of November:

Blair – 3,899 kilowatt hours

Belknap – 3,371 kilowatt hours

Geneva Smith – 3,281 kilowatt hours

Grafton – 1,857 kilowatt hours

Mary Lyon – 1,236 kilowatt hours

Pemigewasset – 423 kilowatt hours

Samuel Read Hall Residence Hall – 45 kilowatt hours

Editor’s note: Langdon Woods is not included because the reported energy savings in the residence halls are based on a five- year average; Langdon Woods opened in September, 2006.

Dustin also noted the most important result of the competition is raising campus awareness and commitment to saving energy.

“Hopefully students, staff, faculty—everyone tied to the University—will gain a greater appreciation and understanding for how simple choices they make can impact the environment,” said Dustin.

“Many people on this campus are working behind the scenes to educate others about sustainability; events like Doing it in the Dark serve as a tool to move their efforts into the public eye. Members of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability especially would like to see it happen again in fall 2008. I’ve also had lots of comments from students who would like to see it happen potentially every semester.”

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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