Energy Reduction Challenge

A Campus-Wide, 24-Hour Event

When the clock strikes midnight on March 20th, join the entire Penn community and participate in the campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to reduce their energy usage over a 24-hour period, from 12:00AM to 11:59PM on Wednesday, March 20th. Turn off your lights, unplug your appliances, turn down the heat, and put on a sweater! Let's see how much energy we can save together.

Reduce energy, fund undergraduate climate research

Savings from the Energy Reduction Challenge will go towards funding additional undergraduate Sustainability Action Research Grants offered by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF). Help fight climate change, and make Penn a greener campus.

How can you reduce your consumption on March 20th? 

Participate in the following actions:

  1. Keep the lights off as much as possible. Use natural light during the day and minimal lighting at night. 
  2. Turn off lights in common spaces when not in use. Minimize your use of individual study rooms or conference rooms- consolidate your friends or coworkers into fewer work spaces, so you use need less lighting.
  3. Turn off or unplug your power strips when not in use. Make sure you do this when leaving your room for the day or your office at night.
  4. Unplug your appliances when not in use. These appliances include: coffee-makers, microwaves, toasters, TVs, speakers, printers, computers, and any other electronics. 
  5. If you can control your thermostat, turn it down. Close your window blinds at night to retain heat. 
  6. If you use a desktop computer, shut it down when not in use. If you use a laptop, try not to charge it on the 20th. You can charge it the night before. The same goes for cell phones and other chargeable electronics.
  7. Refrain from running kitchen appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, or stoves. Make enough food the day before so you can eat leftovers on the 20th, or go out to eat.
  8. Instead of using your computer on your lunch break, do something that doesn't consume energy, like taking a walk.
  9. Save your laundry for another day. If you must do laundry on the 20th, remember to set the washing machine to the "bright" setting to use cold water. Air-dry your clothes on a drying rack or clothes line instead of using the dryer. 
  10. Try using non-electrical gym equipment on the 20th. If you must use a cardio machine, use an elliptical or stationary bike, which use a lot less energy than treadmills.
  11. Minimize your hot water usage. Take a shorter shower on the 20th.
  12. Print out our Energy Conservation Tips poster to inspire your coworkers and friends!