2015 Residence Energy Challenge

This is an in-house Residence competition to reduce energy use and promote sustainable living habits.

The Challenge

The challenge is running from January 24, 2015 - February 6, 2015.  For the daily results see our Facebook account or follow us on Twitter.

Tracking Our Progress

As the challenge progresses, this page will be updated daily with a graph showing the latest results for each participating residence. The data will show the average reduction in energy usage since the challenge began. Energy increases will be displayed on the graph in red, whereas an energy decrease is displayed in green.

Code of Conduct

Use this Code of Conduct is to make the challenge fun while ensuring that safety standards and fair play are maintained.

The purpose of the Campus Energy Conservation Challenge is to raise people’s awareness of how much energy is used and how we can make big savings by doing little things. Together we can make a difference if everyone does their part.


Focus on reducing your own ecological footprint. Stick to things that are sustainable and you would do for the rest of the year (or forever!). If you are found sabotaging others’ efforts your residence will be disqualified. Do not tamper with motion detectors or other fixed building equipment. Do not remove any florescent tubes in hallway lighting. Remember your residence code of conduct/rules while participating in the challenge


NB Environmental Network (NBEN)  http://www.nben.ca/

Lights Out Canada  http://lightsoutcanada.tpweb.ca/

Efficiency NB  http://www.efficiencynb.ca/index.html

NB Government Climate Change  http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/elg/environment/content/climate_change.html

NB Power  http://www.nbpower.com/html/en/save_energy/tips.html

Residence Energy Savings Tips

Below you will find several energy saving tips that have been designed specifically for the residences. Each of them is simple and if all students living on campus were to do them the savings would be enormous. Are you up for the Challenge?

Turn off the lights

One of the easiest things to do is make sure all lights – your room, the washrooms and common rooms - are turned off when they are not in use. Any light turned off will save more money and energy than a light turned on (regardless of efficiency and type).

Capture the Free Light

Once you have mastered the art of turning off unused lights you can increase your savings even more by only using lights when they are needed. Most residence rooms get a good amount of sunlight throughout the day. Try opening your blinds and take advantage of the natural sunlight when you are working and hanging out in your room during the day.

Turn Off Computers and Set Energy Saving Functions

Leaving a desktop computer turned on overnight uses 2-4 kwh of electricity - that’s 2.2 pounds of coal every night. With the vast majority of students owning personal computers and having a lifestyle in which they use their computer for several hours a day, the energy needed to power the computers in our residence halls is tremendous. Although using your computer is often necessary, it is also important that you turn it off and set the energy saving functions for when it is not in use. When energy saving functions, such as sleep mode are set, desktops use 87% less energy and laptops use 84% less. Still, even better than sleep mode is turning your computer off completely.

Note that the Screensaver is not an energy saving function. They are designed specifically to protect the screen and actually use the same amount of energy as when the computer is in use.

Minimize your Phantom Load

According to ENERGYSTAR, 75% of the electricity used over the lifetime of home electronics is consumed when the products is turned off. Many of the appliances and electronics we use consume electricity even when they aren’t in use - TV’s, DVD players, videogame consoles, computers, cell phone chargers and blow dryers all consume approximately 2-6 watts when they are turned off. Phantom Load is the term that has been given to this wasted energy. The easiest way to combat Phantom Load is to unplug all appliances and electronics when they are not in use.

When all the appliances are turned off but still plugged in, the typical dorm room uses 20-40 watts. Unplug your appliances when you're not using them, or plug them into a power bar, which you can easily switch off or unplug when you leave the room and when you go to sleep.

Unplug your Mini-fridge (as applicable)

A mini-fridge accounts for over half the electricity used in the average residence room. Therefore, one of the largest contributions you can make in reducing energy footprint is to unplug your refrigerator. Although it is nice to keep some things cold, is it really necessary to run your mini-fridge all year? Consider teaming up with some neighbours and sharing a fridge, or claim some space in the common room refrigerator.

Take Short Showers

Five minutes in a standard shower can uses approximately 100 L of water and it takes a huge amount of energy to warm that water. Reducing shower time and using less hot water can dramatically cut energy and water use.

The Cold-Water Wash

90% of energy used by laundry machines goes into heating the water. New soaps that are designed to be used in cold water cost about the same and produce similar results to traditional laundry detergents. In addition, make sure you are washing a full load and efficiently using that water.

Use a Drying Rack instead of the Dryer

A dryer consumes anywhere from 4 to 6 kWh. Use a clothes line or drying rack and save that energy. 

Don’t leave your Radio/Stereo playing while you’re away

Be sure to turn off your radio and stereo before you leave for class, dinner, or home for the weekend. Every bit helps!


Energy saving is a hot topic! Talk with your floor and learn about how each of you can do better. Discuss and share ideas. You will probably come up with some creative ideas that are a lot of fun. This is also the best way to learn about how this challenge fits into broader scale environmental initiatives and the role we as university students have as environmentalists, conservationists, and aware global citizens.