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American University Students "Do It in the Dark" to Save Energy

John Platt, January 09, 2012

Students at Washington, D.C.'s American University recently competed to see which residency hall could save the most energy.

The "Do It in the Dark" competition pitted the students of each hall against each other during November 2011. Over the course of the month, AU residents saved a grand total of 20,323 kilowatt hours of electricity. In the process, they saved the university $2,427. According to the AU Office of Sustainability, they also reduced their emissions by almost 31,000 pounds of CO2.

More than 20% of the school's resident students participated in the challenge. They unplugged appliances when they weren't using them, turned off lights, lowered the temperatures in their fridges, took the stairs instead of elevators, and set their dorm room heat to "low." Each student who took the pledge was entered into a raffle to win a solar battery charger.

At the end of the month, the students living in AU's Roper Hall (pictured) were the clear winners, having reduced their energy consumption by more than 35%. The students not only got the satisfaction of their win, but they also got a dessert party the week before finals.

The competition wasn't just for AU. The American University students also took part in a broader competition with two other DC-based schools, Howard University and George Washington University. The results of that intra-city competition have not yet been announced.

Tags: Campus Buzz, Efficiency, Energy

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