Reminder: Join the Energy Bowl Challenge to win a pizza party


Note: Because the energy needs of Vanderbilt University Medical Center are different from those of the university, VUMC employees have their own separate challenge.

Last week, Plant Operations implemented several intensive energy-conservation measures throughout University Central for the three weeks of winter break and invited faculty, staff and students remaining on campus during that time to support those efforts by competing in the Energy Bowl Challenge.

The building that reduces its energy consumption by the greatest percentage compared to this time last year will win a pizza party of up to 20 pies.

“[rquote]We believe we can reduce our electrical consumption by at least 500,000 kilowatt hours. The cost savings approximately equals a year’s tuition for one student,”[/rquote] said Mark Petty, assistant vice chancellor for plant operations. “We have had great response to the Energy Bowl Challenge so far. Even several of the off-campus buildings have asked to join the competition.”

Plant Ops has given all buildings a head start by turning off lights in all unoccupied areas and setting all thermostats down to 65 degrees. Off-campus buildings, child care facilities, most labs and other climate-sensitive research areas are exempt from these restrictions. A complete list of affected areas is available here.

In order to win the challenge, employees must minimize their own energy consumption as well.

“Lights, electronics and other equipment such as chemical fume hoods account for about 40 percent of the average university’s energy use, with the remaining 60 percent going toward heating, cooling and hot water,” said Andrea George, director of Vanderbilt’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office. “By consistently turning off lights and electronics and shutting fume hood sashes in labs, members of the Vanderbilt community can significantly decrease energy use.”

Personnel remaining on campus should:

  • Bring a sweater to work.
  • If you have an individual thermostat, keep it at 65.
  • Do not use a space heater—they pose fire hazards and guzzle electricity.
  • Turn off all lights, computers (if allowed), monitors, copiers, printers and other electronics and equipment when you leave for the day.
  • Close all fume hoods when not in use.

Personnel taking time off should:

  • Turn off all lights in your office/personal work area.
  • If you have your own thermostat, turn it down to 65.
  • Turn off and unplug all electronics and electronic equipment to prevent wasting “vampire energy”—the small amount of power that trickles into electronics even when they are switched off. If computers must remain on, turn monitors off.
  • Close all fume hoods wherever possible.

For more tips on how to conserve energy in your work area, please visit the SustainVU website.

For more information about the Energy Bowl Challenge, contact Darren Bevill at (615) 322-2622.