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Dorm Energy Challenge, April 2008

During the month of April, 2008, students who live in Cushing, Davison, Jewett, Josselyn, Lathrop, Noyes, Raymond and Strong will be competing to reduce their electricity consumption.  

While the main objective of the challenge is to reduce the use of electricity in the res halls, there will also be an educative element in which the res hall students will be given information about how they can reduce their energy use (see list below for examples).

There will be an "award ceremony" in early May for the winning dorm, which will include a local foods dinner and a donation to the house team budget, presented by Cappy, B&G, and the Sustainability Committee.

The challenge will complement the Vassar Carbon Reduction Plan that the Sustainability Committee will present to the president and the college in May.

How does your dorm rank?

Second Week Update

Download more information (PDF)

Strong takes the lead with a 13 watt per person reduction!
Followed by Joss, Cushing and Jewett for biggest % change in kW demand.
Rank House April 8-15 (kW) Change (W/person) $$$ Saved
1 Strong 54.6 -13.03 $168.30
2 Joss 41.5 -11.58 $191.10
3 Cushing 27.9 -9.92 $120.12
4 Jewett 53.9 -5.52 $87.44
5 Raymond 20.2 -3.32 $57.05
6 Noyes 30.3 -3.21 $54.92
7 Lathrop 25.5 -3.07 $62.62
8 Davison 18.8 -1.74 $21.57
All Dorms 272.9 -6.42 $763.12 Saved

Dorm Energy Use Pre-challenge

House Peak kW Avg kW kWh
per person
per month
Total cost
Cushing 52 24 86 $1,770
Davison 43 16 67 $1,163
Jewett 73 41 137 $2,996
Joss 74 37 118 $2,668
Lathrop 46 18 74 $1,279
Noyes 48 28 120 $2,030
Raymond 33 18 64 $1,293
Strong 51 38 168 $2,733
Total 419 219 104 $15,933

Ways to Reduce Electricity Use

  1. Turn off lights when you leave your room.
  2. Open your shades to use more natural "day" lighting in place of electric lamps
  3. Turn off computers overnight and when not in use.
  4. Turn down your refrigerator a degree or two.
  5. Switch in CFL light bulbs (available for free from Reslife).
  6. Use less dryer time by combining loads and air drying.
  7. Unplug chargers, computers, TVs, VCRs, video game systems, computers, printers and when not in use to stop "phantom" energy flow.
  8. Turn on automatic sleep / hibernation mode on your computer
  9. Reduce overall use of electronic devices:
    • Unplug unnecessary electronics like decorative Christmas tree lights.
    • Go outside instead of watching TV or playing video games (after all Spring is on its way!).
    • Get your friend to play their acoustic guitar instead of listening to music through a computer/iPod and speakers.

Sponsored by the College Committee on Sustainability
Email Libby ( for details

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, April 1, 2008