For the past 7 years, the students and staff of St Andrews have been doing their part to reduce the energy consumed in student accommodation via the Inter-Hall Energy Competition. The combined actions of 3,500 students really can make a big difference to our carbon footprint where over 7,500 tonnes of carbon were associated with Halls’ energy consumption in 2012/13 alone.
How does it work? Each hall has a monthly target energy consumption which is based on how much energy was used that month in previous years. We are now recording gas and water in addition to electricity consumption this year. The hall that makes the most savings relative to their target each month wins £150 towards their hall committee funds – this means the only thing stopping your hall from winning month after month is how well the other halls are doing!
How do I help my hall win? Your hall environment rep will be able to point out ways you can save energy and water in your particular hall. These general actions are always a good start:
- Turn lights out when you leave the room (or if the sun comes out!)
- Switch off electrial appliances when you have finished using them
- Don’t over fill the kettle if you only want 1 drink
- Put on a jumper or other warm clothes
- Turn radiators off if you open a window
- Use less water while washing up; report taps that keep running when turned off
How is my hall doing? View your hall’s realtime energy consumption here on our online energy monitors. Your environment reps have access to an interactive energy data system that allows for a better understanding of the peak energy times during the week. Also, make sure to like the Facebook Page where we will post the monthly results and winners.
What if I live in a private flat? That’s great, you will get to keep all the savings you make, through lower bills. Have a look at the Energy Saving Trust website for some hints and tips. More help is at hand from our partners, St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEN), who can pop round to your flat to carry our an energy audit (it’s free) and offer you tailored advice.
Energy use is a massive part of the solution to climate change but there are a lot more benefits that being energy efficient can bring you. Students can save money, keep warm and increase comfort and wellbeing. Get involved with the most active environmental group in St Andrews, Transition, to make an even greater difference to community sustainability.
To see what the University is already doing about reducing energy consumption across all buildings and departments view their Environment and Sustainability pages here.