Ferrum News

Ferrum Students to Hold Energy Saving Competition


Ferrum Students to Hold Energy Saving Competition

Sub-meters in dorms will monitor energy usage.

Ferrum, Va. (March 27, 2011) – Students at Ferrum College will be competing to see who can use the least energy during the first annual Ferrum College Energy Challenge.  From Sunday, March 27 at midnight to Saturday April 2, students in the residence halls on campus will partake in energy saving practices while their energy use is monitored by sub-meters, which will show who is saving the most.

The idea arose during the 2009-10 school year, when the campus theme was sustainability.  During that time, the college worked with Breakell Inc. General Contractors of Roanoke, which specializes in sustainable building practices.  Breakell installed the metering devices, which give real-time readings of energy usage.  The results are available in simple bar graph form at energy.ferrum.edu.

“We want students to understand that there are everyday things they can do that save energy and create a more sustainable way of living,” said Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Glen Stevens.  

Sustainability Coordinator Frances Lash said students would be doing common sense activities like turning out the lights when they are not in the room, using the stairs instead of the elevator and taking shorter showers.  She recommended that they also share loads of laundry, keep windows shut and unplug phone chargers when they are not in use.

These campus energy conservation efforts are supported by a series of grants from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The grants have allowed the college to install the meters, set up the website to display the energy usage and install two large monitors on campus where students can see the results of their efforts.

The residence halls have organized into three teams for the competition.  The lakeside team is represented by Clark Hall, Riddick Hall, Chapman Hall, and Susannah Wesley Hall; the largest residence hall on campus, Bassett Hall, is its own team; finally, the third team includes the dorms in the heart of campus, Arthur Hall, Moore Hall, and Roberts Hall.  Students are being asked to sign an energy pledge form, available on-line at: /academics/natural_sciences_math/environmental_science/sustainability.html  

The winning team will receive a wood fired pizza party at their location, by Ferrum College Chef Bo Bernard.