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WC and ECC to Partner on Energy Savings Challenge

Competition Designed to 'Flip-the-Switch' on Students' Energy-Consumption Behaviors and Attitudes

February 20, 2013

Dialing down thermostats will be a key part of energy savings.

Dialing down thermostats will be a key part of energy savings.

Wilmington College will be teaming with Energize Clinton County, a local community and economic development organization, in an attempt to “flip-the-switch” on students’ energy-consumption behaviors and attitudes.

The “WC/ECC Energy Savings Challenge” involves a coordinated effort on the part of student residents in some seven houses on the Wilmington College campus, homes to fraternity and sorority members, as well as those living in two “eco houses.”

Each house will compete independently for monthly prizes, as well as a grand prize, awarded to the house with the most significant drop in electric and natural gas usage.

Energy data will be tracked via Dropoly.com, a new, state-of-the-art interactive energy efficiency game that gives households the power to measure, manage and reduce their energy consumption one drop at a time.

Corey Cockerill is an assistant professor of communication arts at WC and an ECC board member.

“We’re very excited to have this opportunity to test out the new Dropoly system and to, simultaneously, engage students in conversations about energy-saving behaviors,” she said.

Residents of the campus houses involved in this year’s challenge will receive a $50 grant from ECC to invest in energy-reducing tools, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and smart power strips that work by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode.

“Much of the cost savings will likely come from behavioral changes like turning off switches or turning down thermostats,” said Mark Rembert, ECC co-founder and director of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce.

ECC will award a $300 grand prize to the house with the greatest total energy reduction between February and April. Residents of the houses will also go through training on how to use the Dropoly.com system in order to continue to track their energy use data into the future.

“The college has been engaged in conversations about making sustainable choices—it’s certainly a hot-button topic today,” Cockerill said. “This challenge presents us with an opportunity to get students involved in thinking about and engaging in real sustainable energy solutions.”

The college hopes to expand the challenge to student-occupied apartments on campus this fall.

ECC, as a partner with the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, recently received the National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development from the American Planning Association. ECC’s energy efficiency efforts are supported in part by a grant from the Toyota/Audubon TogetherGreen Fellowship program.