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Residence Energy Challenge
Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011
In its second year, the Residence Energy Challenge (REC) is making a big impression across campus. Now open to off-campus houses and apartments, the Challenge is a way for all SCU students to get involved with sustainability and learn how to save energy.
It all began in 2009...
In the meantime, former Associated Student Government (ASG) vice president Katherine Quinn-Shea approached the Office of Sustainability with her idea of an energy-saving competition for off-campus houses. Part of her platform was to strengthen the connections of students living off-campus to what was happening on-campus, and she thought this program would be a good way to accomplish both goals. The first iteration of the off-campus energy challenge ran for all of Spring quarter 2010 and included seven houses. The winning house was reimbursed for its energy bills throughout the quarter.
Longer competition, now on- and off-campus!
Eight houses and apartments are competing to see who can reduce their per-capita energy use the most during the quarter, as compared to their usage in October of 2010. Each month, housemates submit their energy bills to the Office of Sustainability. The winning house will be reimbursed up to $300 for their bills during Winter quarter, and there will also be a prize for the most enthusiastic house.
Residents thinking about their behaviors
Senior Cara Uy, who lives in Lovehouse, is excited to be participating in the Challenge for the second time. Lovehouse reduced their energy consumption last year, but didn’t win the competition. This year, they are determined to clinch the prize. Uy says she and her housemates are sharing more, such as cooking together instead of turning the oven on four separate times. When asked if their energy-saving habits will stay with them after the Challenge ends, Uy replied, “We think so. As the Challenge goes on, these actions will be more ingrained in all of the 'lovemates' so that it will transform into good habits for the future.” Perhaps most importantly, the energy-saving challenge has encouraged them to be live more sustainably overall. “We discuss material and earth sustainability as well as being physically and emotionally healthy too,” she said.
It's not always easy
Campus events promote energy conservation
Learn more about the Residence Energy Challenge, and see which residence hall and house is in the lead.
By Hannah Slocum, '11 and Chloe Fitzmaurice-Shean,'12, Sustainability Interns.