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Res Challenge averts 162 tons of CO2

Washington, Foster and Ryors dominate competition
Mar 10, 2010
From staff reports

Residence Challenge 2010 came down to the wire, as students across campus vied to slash electricity consumption in Ohio University's residential housing. But in the end, three residence halls claimed bragging rights on their respective greens.

East Green's Washington Hall, South Green's Foster House and West Green's Ryors Hall took top honors in the competition's 10th year. The residents of these three halls saved the equivalent of more than 25 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions during the course of the competition, which ran Jan. 18 through March 7.

"By switching off lights, powering down computers and turning off their A/C units, these three halls knocked down their electricity consumption by nearly 23,000 kilowatt hours," said Damien Snook, competition coordinator with the Office of Sustainability. "That's the same amount of electricity that two American homes consume in an entire year."

Collectively, all halls on campus avoided 162 tons of CO2. According to Snook, this is comparable to the carbon impact of two tanker trucks' worth of gasoline.

"It's just amazing to witness the effort and creativity that students apply to this competition year after year," said Sustainability Coordinator Sonia Marcus. "Every year, it gets tougher to demonstrate savings. But every year, Ohio University students prove that they can."

In Residence Challenge, a baseline is created for each residence hall using average electricity usage from the past three years. Within each green, residence halls compete to see who can post the greatest reduction from this baseline.

According to the Office of Sustainability, which manages the event in collaboration with Residential Housing, Residence Challenge has been very successful in its 10 years of existence. During that span, it has saved the university more than $70,000 in annual electricity cost and avoided the equivalent of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide.

Winners of Residence Challenge 2010 will be officially honored at an April 7 awards ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. in Baker University Center's 1804 Lounge. Students from the top energy-conserving halls will also be rewarded with all-expense-paid trips to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. The number of tickets is based on the total amount of carbon dioxide avoided by each hall.

For complete results of the competition, click here.

More on the winners:

East Green: Washington Hall
Washington is the comeback kid of this year's competition, shocking the residents of Biddle who had held the top spot on East Green since week three. Washington came on strong in the second half of the competition, moving all the way up from fourth place in week four. Blackout Rave Nights and compact fluorescent light bulb exchanges helped the hall achieve huge electricity savings, such as the 24.6 percent rate in the final week. Washington finished with a cumulative reduction of 16.16 percent off its baseline, squeaking by Biddle's rate of 16.13 percent. For their efforts, Washington residents have been awarded 45 tickets to Cedar Point.

South Green: Foster House

Foster posted a fourth consecutive week of 20+ percent savings to lock up first place on South Green. Cumulatively, Foster residents used 19.1 percent less electricity over the last seven weeks than they have on average in the last three years in the same time period. This reduction marks the top savings rate in this year's competition, 1.5 percent greater than their closest competitor. Some residents in Foster were so committed to the Residence Challenge that they unplugged their individual micro-fridges, electing instead to share with their neighbors. Based on the hall?s total electric savings, 40 percent of its residents will be travelling to Cedar Point.

West Green: Ryors Hall

From the opening week of the competition, Ryors dominated West Green, and their hold on first place was never seriously threatened. Ryors residents posted impressive savings each week, ranging from a low of 15.2 percent savings in week one to a high of 20.6 percent in week four. The hall's cumulative savings of 17.6 percent exceeded West Green?s second place finish by nearly 9 percent. The hall?s reduction represents carbon-dioxide savings of 9.6 tons. Ryors residents frequently gathered in the hall's lobby to use the communal space as a group study area, turning off lights in their rooms. The hall will be rewarded with 48 Cedar Point tickets, the most of any hall in 2010.

Most Improved: Cady Hall

Cady won the prize for the most improved electricity savings in the final week. By decreasing their electricity consumption by 5.5 percent between weeks six and seven, residents of Cady will be rewarded with a late-night pancake party hosted by the Eco Reps.


*Following this link takes you outside of Ohio University's Web site.


Published: Mar 10, 2010 3:14 PM

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