LSU Energy Savings Could Power An Entire Subdivision

By Jordan Walden | LSU Student

LSU's third annual UNPLUG energy conservation competition, held throughout March, yielded a 3.7 percent and nearly $2,500 energy savings in its residence halls, according to Catherine David, Residential Life communications coordinator.

"That is nearly enough energy to power 30 homes for a month."

The competition was split into two categories, residence halls and on-campus apartments. West Campus Apartments won the apartment division, with a 6 percent energy reduction, while Residential College One took the prize in its division, saving 13 percent in normal energy use.

Students of the winning dorms were awarded with a celebration, pizza and prizes included.

LSU Residential Life teamed with Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and Campus Sustainability to sponsor the UNPLUG competition. Students were encouraged to use energy-saving techniques such as unplugging phone chargers, turning off lights and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

The UNPLUG competition generated less energy savings than the previous two years. Last year, for example, UNPLUG produced a 10 percent energy reduction, compared to this year's 3.7 percent.

David attributes the decline to warmer weather and comparing the results to a lower average resulting from previous UNPLUG competitions.

"Students would have to do better to achieve the same savings as past years," said Denise Newell, manager of Campus Sustainability.

New to the just-completed UNPLUG competition was the Do One Thing (DOT) campaign.

"We found out about the DOT campaign online," said David, noting that it worked well at Syracuse (University). According to David, the DOT campaign proved to be useful because this year students could visit the DOT website and pledge the one thing they planned to do to save energy.

The UNPLUG competition is now over, but David says students are more energy conscious and show a willingness to continue using the energy-saving techniques they learned in the UNPLUG competition.

"Historically, there has been improvement in the months following the UNPLUG competition," said Newell.