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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Students Can Compete with VCU, U. of Richmond, in Energy Conservation

Old Dominion University students will have an opportunity in February to demonstrate their commitment to energy conservation, while taking on rival schools Virginia Commonwealth and the University of Richmond, in the ODU Energy Challenge.

From Feb. 8-28, the energy output from 20 different Old Dominion University residences will be measured. Each residence hall will competed against each other to see which residence population can be the most energy conscious, and the combined energy savings at ODU residences will be compared with the two rival schools, as part of a national initiative known as the Campus Conservation Nationals.

The national competition provides students with an exciting, easy way to make a real impact on their campus' carbon footprint, and organizers hope the energy conscious habits are ones that students retain.

"This is a fun way for Old Dominion University students to become more energy conscious, while also competing with rival schools," said ODU utility engineer Chad Luettel, organizer of the Norfolk school's entry into this year's competition. "We look forward to the friendly competition, and hope it inspires long-lasting changes in students' energy consumption habits."

Starting with a kickoff event Thursday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 p.m. in the Roseann Runte Quad - featuring trivia and prize giveaways - residence students will have an opportunity to pledge their commitment to reducing energy output in their residence hall. Organizers say the goal is for at least 10 percent of students in the 20 participating residence buildings to pledge to participate.

From Feb. 8-28, energy output will be tracked at Old Dominion University's 20 residence halls via an interactive online building dashboard, at http://buildingdashboard.net/odu/#/odu. Students may also go to that site to learn facts about energy conservation, and to see who else has pledged to participate in the ODU Energy Challenge.

Throughout the competition, students are encouraged to conserve energy by unplugging electronics or turning off power strips. The competition will also educate students on using natural light whenever possible and making sure to turn electric lights off when leaving a room.

The focus of the competition is to raise awareness about the energy students consume every day and how that electricity use affects the entire university. Organizers hope the friendly competition between the three universities will act as an example to the entire communities.