The University of Central Florida is using friendly competition between residence halls to encourage more students to turn off lights when they leave the room, turn off computers and other electrical equipment when not in use and take other steps to conserve energy. Throughout February, residence halls on campus will compete to determine which building can reduce its electrical consumption by the greatest percentage compared to the consumption during the same month of previous years… (right, Shaina Duffey turns off lights in Lake Claire residence hall – photo by Jerry Klein)

The winning building’s residents will be eligible for prizes such as gift certificates to Wackadoo’s and Best Buy and a party sponsored by Housing and Residence Life at the end of the competition. Also, the Student Government Association will sponsor ten $200 scholarships for students in the winning building.


Small Individual Efforts Can Make Big Impact

During the fall semester, a pilot Energy Conservation Competition was held in the Academic Village community. The team of buildings 106 and 107 won the competition, and the entire community together saved $14,000 in electric bills from August to December.

UCF’s Center for Energy and Sustainability teamed up with Housing and Residence Life to coordinate the fall and February competitions. Working with student resident assistants, the two offices provided students with several tips for how to conserve energy and encouraged them to continue those positive habits after the competition concludes.

“Energy conservation should be everyone’s concern,” said Assistant Director of University Housing Jeff Novak. “We are excited about ‘Energy Conservation Month’ and the prospects of educating residents about how a little effort individually can make a big impact collectively.”

About 5,200 UCF students live in on-campus residence halls and will be involved in the competition.

“Our goal is to see each student become a better steward of energy through a few simple, everyday actions, while also adding in a little fun from the competition,” said competition coordinator Stacey Radnor, who is the marketing specialist for the Center for Energy and Sustainability.

Results of the competition will be announced in mid-March and also be available online


  • Turn off all lights when leaving the room. Make sure all bathroom lights and additional room lighting is left off when not in use.
  • Use florescent bulbs for all your personal lamps — they last 7 times longer than an incandescent bulb and use one-fourth of the energy.
  • Open the blinds in your room and use natural sunlight to light your room.
  • Keep all appliances off when not in use including printers and stereos.
  • Unplug items when not in use — even when a cell phone charger is plugged into the wall and not charging your cell phone, it still uses energy.
  • Turn off and unplug everything in your room when gone for the weekend/holidays.
  • Place your computer into sleep mode. Look for directions for this process at
  • Turn off your computer monitor when not in use. Turn it off at night or when gone for the day.
  • Keep your windows closed.
  • Cut down on the number of refrigerators on campus — share with a friend. If you do have a refrigerator, be sure to keep it on a low setting and check the seal to make sure it shuts properly.
  • When leaving your room, turn up your thermostat five degrees. When you get back into your room, turn it back down to your desired temperature.
  • Remind your friends to partake in energy conservation measures every day.

– Do you have any other ideas for energy conservation tips that you would like to share? Send an email to [email protected].

Stacey Radnor is a marketing specialist at the Center for Energy and Sustainability, at UCF

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