A guest update from Costas Charalambous, mechanical engineer at the University of Cyprus.
SAVES has expanded our Student Switch Off energy saving competition to run in 19 universities throughout Europe, moving out of the UK for the first time.
The University of Cyprus participates with 12 student halls (208 rooms in total) and has had an incredible first term of engagement.
We're providing quality engagement with students, motivating and empowering them to save energy. This supports ambition of the University of Cyprus to become an institution that fosters and disseminates environmental awareness.
Up to this point, actions have been taken towards organising the local energy competitions and establishing a communication platform with the student that facilitates their engagement.
Smart electricity meters were installed at each hall since October 2013. The data gathered will be used to establish the baseline prior to any engagement activities. As the competition runs, students of each hall will compete between them to achieve the most electricity reduction from the baseline, not by taking technical measures but only by changing their habits and by adopting energy conservation consciousness.
Since the beginning of the project in late September five photo competitions and the launch of the quiz have resulted to bring more people aboard and participate in the program. So far 56% of the students residing at the University dormitories have signed up with our Facebook page and 28% have taken the climatic change quiz.
The results of the first month revealed an overall 3,8% decrease in energy usage, demonstrating that the engagement actions are effective. The experience gained by running the competition so far will allow future engagement actions to be adjusted and be more specific to the needs and expectations of the local student community.
We're really excited to see these reductions made in Cyprus across just one term. It's just the beginning of massive savings right across Europe, and an excellent example of international student collaboration on sustainability.