Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

The 5th Annual Energy Challenge (Winter 2014, Weeks 4-8) is finished.

The Energy Challenge encourages campus residents to examine their power usage and find ways to reduce wasted energy use. Rather than directly rivaling against one another, residence halls attempt to reduce their building's electricity consumption in comparison to historical use, adjusted for changing numbers of residents. Students in the top-conserving building and those in the building with the most enthusiasm for energy conservation will win!

2014 Energy Challenge logo

This year, the Energy Challenge will have two competitions between the "AC League" and "No AC League" buildings. This means that residence halls that have user control of air conditioning are int eh "AC League" group, and those that do not have individual user control are in the "No AC League." There will be 4 RLC winners this year: 2 top conserving buildigns and 2 most enthusiastic buildings, one from each of the respective competitions. 

In the spirit of the game and competition, the Energy Challenge includes other activities to unify both the Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) on campus and off-campus students under the message of the importance of energy conservation. Activities include:
  • Energy Challenge Kick-Off/ Eco-Fashion & Art Show | Thurs. Jan 30 from 7 - 9:30 pm
  • Zero-Power Hour | For all RLCs | Mon. Feb 10 from 9 - 10 pm
  • SCU Unplugged | Acoustic musical performances | Wed. Feb 19 Time TBA


Throughout the month, you will be able to see how much energy your RLC has saved so far in the Energy Challenge, and find out where you stand in the competition. View live standings. [LIVE FEBRUARY 6TH]


Energy Unplugging, 2014 

Energy-conserving champion

The 2013 Energy Conservation and Most Enthusiasm awards went to the Loyola RLC, breaking 1,000 points in enthusiam! Who will be the champions this year? 

Last year, together we saved 16,770.5 kWh (that's 13 tons of carbon dioxide emissions) over the period of just one month! Let's see if our campus can save just as much energy this year!

 Energy Challenge Enthusiasm. Photo courtesy of SCU.

Energy-saving enthusiasm

Equivalent to the energy-saving award, the most enthusiastic award will also be given to an RLC. Enthusiasm points will be awarded to RLCs that plan events and programs to promote energy conservation in their communities. View the full list of how to earn enthusiasm points.

In addition to a pizza party for the winning RLC, other prizes will also be awarded, TBA.

 It is important to reduce electricty. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.

Why use less electricity?

SCU has a commitment to be climate neutral by the end of 2015. To achieve this, we must dramatically reduce our electricity use. Our success depends on the daily habits of our campus users, especially campus residents! 

Roughly 80% of a building's electricity consumption is related to lighting and electronics. (HVAC account for the other 20%.) Student behavior can have a big impact on energy use in residence halls!


Solar Panel (cropped)

How the Challenge works
Each residence hall competes against itself. The campus buildings have been divided into two sub-competitions, one for those with individual user control of air-conditioning ("AC" League) and those without ("No AC" League). Historical electricity use for each building is compared to current use, adjusted for changing numbers of residents. Buildings are compared to each other based on their current reductions from historical usage.

Energy Dashboard, line graph display from Schneider Electric 

Updates are provided weekly
  • ASG Weekly emails
  • Advertisements in The Santa Clara
  • Sustainability at SCU Facebook page
  • E-mails from Resident Directors

350 Dance Party 

Ideas for res. hall programs

The Center for Sustainability has compiled a list of suggestions for programming to increase awareness and enthusiasm among campus residents. Feel free to use these ideas as a starting point to develop your own!