Monday, August 18, 2008


The University of Richmond, my alma mater, recently announced a new campus-wide energy monitoring system:

The system, which will be installed in all 14 residence halls, will allow students to track their energy use online. The idea is that if they can actually see that turning off their computer saves energy, maybe they will.

When the system is installed in Fall 2009, dorm residents will compete for the highest decrease in energy consumption. When Oberlin College did this, "students were able to reduce their electricity use by up to 55 percent over two weeks."

Worth noting, the system is being paid for by the Dominion Foundation. Dominion, based in Richmond, is one of the nation's largest producers of energy. They burn a lot of coal and are currently pursing plans to build a new coal-fired power plant in Wise County, Va. Here's a Washington Post article about it worth reading:


Dani said...

This is cool! I wonder if this also sparks healthy competition between dorms to have the lowest energy/student number, like at summer camp when the different cabins compete to see who throws out the least food at the mess hall.

Chris said...

This IS cool! Now if only all the college kids could do something to get people to think a little more about where their power comes from before they build another coal-fired plant. Sure, maybe there is a coal mine right there, but the negative effects of burning coal for power are still worth considering.

This quote from the Washington Post story just had me smacking my forehead: "I don't want to pay a higher cost for electricity just because somebody thinks that coal is dirty." It so thick-headed that it sounds like Steven Colbert when he's trying to show how stupid an argument is.