During the first year (2017-18) of SAVES 2, the team at University of Bucharest (UoB) realized the complexity of the project and the huge positive impact it can have on one’s attitudes, awareness and behaviour, on institutional changes and not the least on the entire economy.
Based on the first-year experience, during the second year (2018-19) of SAVES 2 the team did many things differently: more direct communication with students (in classes); different involvement of students’ ambassadors (more online than face-to-face communications); more visits in halls to raise awareness about the project; new dormitory coordinator to lead on engagement activities; more involvement of the administrative staff in halls; new students elected by student community as residential assistants.
This year was the first year that UoB ran the SSO+ campaign helping raise awareness on energy saving in the private rented sector. It focused on information on energy performance certificates, energy tariffs, smart meters and simple actions to take in one’s home to save energy costs; as part of the campaign 10 students were trained as SSO+ ambassadors, helping raise awareness among their peers. Similar to the SSO campaign, students had the opportunity to enter energy themed photo competitions.
We enjoyed the visits in all halls of accommodation, the quizzes and the discussions with all participating students; SAVES 2 is a project with students for students, that helps raise awareness about climate change, energy use and saving money. At the end of year event, students at UoB were really enthusiastic about the fact that they can continue to be part of the project for the 2019-20 academic year.
We have a number of ideas that we hope to implement in the 2019-20 academic year including the creation of an Instagram page for the University of Bucharest Student Switch Off and new promotional materials such as magnets, flags and pens. We are aware that there is still a lot of room for improvement and that working with other countries delivering the SAVES 2 project is a great way to learn and share experience and good practice.
Till we meet again: Let’s reflect and think of what we could do for the new academic year while saving energy and money together!