Each year the students and staff of St Andrews work together to reduce the energy consumed in student accommodation by taking part in the Interhall Energy Competition. This gives every student and staff member the chance to make their contribution to reducing the energy needs of the University community and take an active role in sharing the values of the University, supporting its commitment to be carbon neutral in energy by 2016.
The Competition is supported by the Students’ Association, Hall Environment Reps, Residential & Business Services, Estates Environment Team and Transition University of St Andrews, and this year there is a great opportunity to make the biggest energy savings to date.
How does it work?
Every hall is set monthly targets for energy consumption from October to April. These are based on how much energy that hall used that month in previous years, adjusted to take account of any improvements that have been made (such as installing low energy lights or boiler improvements). The hall that makes the most savings relative to their target that month wins £150 towards their hall committee funds, to be spent on sustainability-related events and projects. Each semester, the monthly savings are totted up, and the three halls that saved the greatest percentage overall win even more prizes.
How do I help my hall win?
Your hall environment rep will be able to point out ways you can save energy and how you can make the most different in your particular hall. These general actions are always a good start:
- Turn lights out when you leave the room (or if the sun comes out!)
- Switch off electrical appliances when you have finished using them
- Don’t over fill the kettle if you’re only making one cuppa
- Put a jumper (or a suitably cool alternative!)
- Turn radiators off if you open a window
Check your progress
- View your Hall’s energy consumption on Systemlink web (login is email@example.com, password is interhall)
- Check out the results on our Facebook Page
It’s not just about energy…..
Reducing energy use is an essential part of the solution to climate change, but there are plenty of other benefits of taking part. The competition gives you the chance to learn energy saving behaviours that will save you wasting money on energy bills in the future and being involved with hall activities is a great way to make new friends and gain skills that you can add to your CV. And when you move on, you will hopefully leave a visible or memorable reminder of your hall’s prize-winning success:
You are also supporting your hall’s performance in sport and charity fundraising to gain energy points towards the Hall Champion’s League. This year-long competition combines points from Hall Sport, Charities campaign and Interhall energy, culminating in the award of the winning trophy at the end of April.
What if I live in a flat?
That’s great, if you follow our energy-saving tips you will get to keep all the savings you make, through lower bills. Have a look at the Energy Saving Trust website for some ideas. More help is at hand from our partners, St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEN), who can pop round to your flat to carry our an energy audit (it’s free) and offer you tailored advice. Email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
What else is the University doing to cut it’s energy use?
Have a look at some of the University’s projects and plans here.