HARTFORD, CT, April 19, 2013 – On Sunday, the Bantam Blitz, a weeklong competition designed to reduce energy consumption, is going to begin in earnest.
The Blitz, which will run from April 21 through April 27, was created to see which of 16 residence halls can reduce its use of electricity by the greatest amount. Also known as Dorm Wars, this contest has been conducted at other colleges and universities with largely positive results.
“The main reason why we are doing this is because schools that run successful competitions see significant drops in electricity consumption during the competition and afterward,” said Kira Sargent, environmental health and safety and sustainability assistant for Aramark at Trinity. Aramark is the company that operates and maintains campus facilities.
As examples, Harvard University saw a 6 percent drop in energy consumption during its competition, while Pomona College in California experienced a whopping 24 percent decline.
The residence halls that will be participating at Trinity include: North Campus, High Rise, Boardwalk, Cook, Doonesbury, Elton, Funston, Summit East, Summit South, Vernon, Smith, Stowe, Northam, Jarvis, Jones and Goodwin-Woodward. The reason that those buildings were selected is because they have new equipment that automatically uploads electricity usage to the Bantam Blitz Web site. Aramark hopes to have the equipment installed on the balance of Trinity’s residence halls by next year.
Trinity is a signatory of the The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, which means that the college is required to shrink its carbon footprint and lower its greenhouse gas emissions to help stabilize the earth’s climate.
Institutions that are participating must have completed an emissions inventory; set a target date for becoming climate neutral; taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; integrated sustainability into the curriculum and made it part of the educational experience; and made the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.
Curbing electric consumption would help propel Trinity forward in meeting its goals.
“Overall,” said Sargent, “electricity consumption on campus contributes about 50 percent of the greenhouse gases that Trinity produces” – about 20,000 metric tons of carbon emissions a year.
Some suggestions for reducing usage include:
- Power down or “sleep” electronic devices when you’re not using them.
- Unplug chargers and turn off power cords.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Air dry your hair to avoid using blow dryers.
- Wash and dry clothes on the cold cycle instead of using hot and/or warm water.
- Turn out the lights when you leave a room.
The way the competition works is this: Residence halls will score points based on their percentage of electrical savings compared to their average, or baseline, usage that was established when the competition was not in effect. In this case, the baseline will be the electricity consumed one week ago. An energy point will be awarded each hour to the residence hall with the most savings compared to the hall they are competing against. Twenty-four points will be awarded each day or 168 for the week.
Through Thursday, April 25, students are urged to take a three-minute survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XXFC6C7. It will help determine what prizes will be awarded to the occupants of the winning residence hall.
In the meantime, student can see their residence hall’s energy use in real time by visiting www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz
Please address any questions to: Sustainability@trincoll.edu.