Students reduce energy consumption

Students at Vancouver Island University residences are spending time in the dark.

Students at Vancouver Island University residences are spending time in the dark all in the name of energy conservation.

From unplugging cell phone chargers, enjoying a meal by candlelight to possibly taking a cold shower, the students are working together in their residence buildings to reduce their energy use in an competition geared to educate and take energy conservation to the next level.

The goBEYOND Campus Climate Network is running its second annual provincewide Do it in the Dark Residence Energy Challenge Nov. 7-25.

Last year, post-secondary students across B.C. managed to conserve more than 125,000 kWh at a saving of more than $9,000.

“There is a lot to be learned about electricity and natural gas conservation – especially for students in residence who are often living on their own for the first time,”  said project manager Melissa Kendzierski. “This competition provides the ultimate platform for students to actually see how their efforts can make a big difference.”

Energy consumption in each participating building is measured for a two-week period prior to the competition to capture typical energy usage.

Energy readings are taken throughout the competition and posted on an online leader board (www.doitinthedark.ca) where participants can see how much energy they’ve saved, how their buildings compare and what they need to save to win prizes.