Power Down Challenge Goes Greek
Greek chapters at Penn have participated in their own version of the Power Down Challenge. This month-long energy reduction competition, hosted by Greek Eco-Reps in partnership with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, took place in November. Thirteen chapters competed to see which fraternity or sorority lowered its electricity use the most. Baseline usage was determined by averaging the previous two years of data (November 2012 and November 2013). Chapters could win in two categories: achieving the greatest percent electricity reduction from the baseline and achieving the greatest gross electricity reduction from the baseline. Prizes include reusable water bottles, a trophy, and a dessert reception catered by a local campus restaurant. Results are expected in mid-December and winners will be posted on the Green Campus Partnership website.
Chapters got creative to reduce their electricity use. They encouraged residents to unplug electronics and turn off lights when not in use. FIJI turned off lights and taped down light switches in areas of the house that are rarely used. Pike encouraged residents to do laundry on the cold-water setting. The St. Elmo Club made sure appliances were unplugged when not in use. Chi Omega used CFLs and power strips, and held a competition between residents to see who got the most involved in the house.
Greek Eco-Reps hope that raising awareness about electricity use during this competition will lead to reduced usage throughout the year. As FIJI’s Eco-Rep said, “We hope to encourage this activity in the future and that these good habits last past the month of November.”