From Spark to Flame

Students pose during the Energy Challenge bonfire. Photo by Matt Atwood '15.

Students gather for a laid-back celebration during the Energy Challenge bonfire. Photo by Matt Atwood '15.

Winners announced for annual Energy Challenge

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Results are in for the 2015 Dickinson Energy Challenge, and with significant reductions recorded on campus, Dickinson's future looks bright (bright-green, that is).

Beginning with its kickoff on March 16, the three-week Energy Challenge called members of the campus community to build new habits that reduce energy consumption, in part to help further the college’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2020. This year’s campaign was titled “Spark the Change.”

Throughout the campaign, energy-use information from the college’s 15 residence halls was recorded and posted to an online energy dashboard so students could see how their daily behaviors affected energy expenditures throughout the challenge. All were invited to attend a closing-ceremony bonfire, where prizes were awarded to the residence halls with the greatest energy savings. 

Together, the residence halls had reduced consumption by 69,670 kilowatt hours, saving a total of $6,270 in energy costs and 84,719 pounds of CO2 emissions in the residence halls.

Of the 12 gas-heated residence halls on campus, Armstrong came in first place, with 33.5 percent reductions in energy usage, a clear victory over the second-place hall, Cooper, which saw 20.1 percent reductions, and Adams, in third place with 16.2 percent. Dickinson’s three electric-heated residence halls saw even more dramatic savings, with McKenney reducing electric use by 53.3 percent, KW by 40.3 percent and Malcolm by 38.9 percent.

“We hope that, because of the competition's events and messaging, more members of the Dickinson community will be more aware of their energy consumption behaviors and more conscious about their impact on the environment,” said CSE intern Brady Hummel ’17 (economics), a Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) data-analysis intern who helped organized the challenge’s 2015 finale event which attracted more than 200 participants, according to CSE intern Jacqueline Goodwin '17, (environmental-studies).

"Overall, the Energy Challenge was widely successful and we hope to see students continuing to Spark the Change," Goodwin said.

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Published April 14, 2015