More power to ya’: Dorm energy-saving race comes to a close

Baylor students have saved a total of 6,354 kilowatts per hour and have prevented the release of 9,354 pounds of carbon dioxide during the Baylor Energy Madness Residence Hall Competition Baylor Energy Madness Residence Hall Competition.

Friday will mark the end of the 26-day competition.

“Four weeks is a good amount of time to establish good [energy] habits and still have a little bit of fun,” said Clare Paul, Aramark marketing manager for Baylor Facility Services.

Throughout this competition, Paul keeps track of each residence hall’s energy usage and awards points based on their percentage of energy reduction. The percentage of reduction is based on data collected from a week in the beginning of September that showed the average energy use for each dorm building. The goal during the competition was to use less energy than usual.

“Usually, we expect to see a 3-5 percent reduction during the competition,” Paul said. “That’s kind of our goal.”

She said it looks like this year’s data is in keeping with that trend.

In addition to crunching the numbers, Paul is also in charge of managing the halls’ bonus points and determining the “Energy Star” winner with the most bonus points.

“Overall the halls have been very active with their bonus points, the participation has been fantastic,” Paul said. “I love to see all the students involved.”

Each hall has its own energy manager to publicize and facilitate Baylor Facilities’ energy-saving events.

“They have us as their team,” said Elliot Jost, energy manager for Alexander Residence Hall.

This is Jost’s third semester to serve as Alexander’s energy manager.

“I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on saving energy and recycling as there should be,” Jost said.

Throughout this competition, however, the opportunities to gain bonus points have helped raise awareness.

On Sept. 29, Baylor Facility Services/Energy Awareness sponsored Dr Pepper hour and offered bonus points for students who attended and signed in with their hall’s name. Other point-worthy events included a scavenger hunt, answering energy trivia questions through the competition’s Facebook page, pledging to reduce energy over fall break, sending in videos of residents saving energy and participating in a lightbulb drive.

“The lightbulb drive this time was the best one I’ve ever done,” Paul said. “It was huge. I have this giant box of bulbs sitting in my office.”

The lightbulb drive consisted of trading in a regular 60 watt bulb, signing a list at the dorm’s front desk and picking up a brand new CFL lightbulb.

The exchange was the same day as “Dark Hour,” which encouraged residents and professors alike to dim their lights from 1 to 2 p.m. on Oct. 7.

“A lot of it is just awareness and forming habits,” Paul said. “We’re just trying to build good habits that will turn into savings in the long run.”

Since the competition ends soon, Paul said they have shut down most of the point opportunities so they can begin tabulating official scores. However, her goal of 600 likes on the Baylor Energy Madness Facebook page Baylor Energy Madness Facebook page has not been met yet. Liking the page before 11:59 p.m. today will put students in a free T-shirt drawing and will help students’ residence halls gain a few more last-minute bonus points.