01/13/15 :

Energy Efficiency Through People Power

Students who are interested in taking action for greater energy efficiency need tools to support their efforts.

Energy savings are hiding everywhere on college campuses, but there simply aren’t enough sustainability coordinators and facilities managers to seek them all out. Campuses do, however, have an abundance of students who interact with campus energy waste on a daily basis. Students are usually the first to notice a leaky faucet, flickering light or overheated classroom, but with no way to report the issue, they often move on without giving it a second thought.

Action is A Phone App Away

People power is an underused energy efficiency solution, but one that UCLA PowerSave Campus interns are tackling with their new phone app concept. PowerSave is collaborating with UCLA Media to build a mobile application that will educate students and staff about energy waste on campus, and hopefully give them a way to report issues to maintenance. Possible features include an energy savings calculator, an energy-saving pledge, information pages about team projects and interns and an energy-waste reporter. The energy savings calculator would allow students to check off actions they complete, such as replacing bulbs with more efficient options, to determine the resulting kWh savings. The energy-waste reporter would also allow students to report instances of energy waste on campus, such as over-lit corridors or overly-chilled rooms.

Capturing Community Interest

When action and apathy are only separated by a couple of taps on your phone, the former becomes a viable choice. Any large institution should view its people as part of the solution. With so many people in a community anxious to make a difference, a little education can go a long way!