Article by Rachel Soper, dormitory coordinator, NUS UK
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of our lives and communities around the globe. Here at the SAVES 2 project, we have understandably had to change our ways of working as much of our activities involve speaking to students on campus. Here is an update on the project and our plans for the coming months.
Spring 2020 was planned to be an exciting period for SAVES 2; our participating universities should be wrapping up their final year of Student Switch Off campaigns - driving a last push for energy savings amongst students and announcing the winning dormitories. Most, if not all, of our inter-dormitory competitions will have to finish early as many students have now left their dormitories (and thus any identified energy savings are not representative of behaviour change, but rather of reduced occupancy), and, although we will still be announcing the winners, celebration events are likely to be cancelled as face-to-face parties won’t be possible.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in Student Switch Off this year. Whilst this isn’t the end we had planned, we will still be recognising the fantastic energy reductions we have seen in participating dormitories so far. Stay tuned for our leaderboard announcements coming soon (you can take a sneak peak at the dashboard here to see current standings in each university)! You can see on the dashboard competitions that there is a significant drop in energy use once students move out of the dormitories (see, for example, the University of Athens energy dashboard here and how the energy use has fallen in March as lots of students moved out of their dormitories in February).
Elsewhere in SAVES 2, our team are mostly still working from home to keep providing advice and information to students, as well as inputting into our upcoming project reports. We will still be holding some competitions for students and exploring any other innovative ways we can continue to raise awareness in these uncertain times.
Look after yourselves and each other! And if you are currently spending more time at home and concerned about the impact this will have on your energy bills, see our advice here.