By Sara Felsenstein for The Observer
After 30 days of commitment to dimmed lights, taking the stairs and unplugging cell phone chargers and game systems, Knott Hall won Notre Dame’s third annual Dorm Energy Competition Tuesday.
The energy competition, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, began Nov. 1. This year focused on reducing “vampire energy”, the power that is sucked by most electronic devices even when they are turned off.
Knott received the $500 grand prize for their 26 percent energy reduction. Zahm and Lewis tied for second place with 21 percent energy reduction each.
“All the dorms together saved 13 percent, equivalent to $9,250 or 259,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions,” Rachel Novick, education and outreach programs manager at the Office of Sustainability, said. “This is more than we have saved in any previous Dorm Energy Competition, which shows that we are getting broader participation across the campus than ever before.”
Knott Hall president Jared Stewart said the Energy Competition was an opportunity to bring the residents of Knott together for a common goal. Stewart said Knott Hall government, especially Energy Commissioner freshman Jack McLaren, worked to inform residents about different ways to save energy.
“We put up a lot of signs on all the floors about taking the stairs, not using the elevators and we also put signs up throughout the stairs thanking people for taking the stairs and encouraging them to do so,” he said.
Stewart said Knott also saved energy by unplugging all electronics other than the refrigerator over Thanksgiving, using cold water in the washing machines, and leaving lights off whenever possible.
“[We encouraged] people to turn off their lights when they leave the room. I think that some of the key areas where we kept the lights off were the bathrooms, definitely,” he said. “The hallways we had dimmer. On the first floor, we kept the lights off completely unless they were needed.”
He said he was impressed by the commitment and dedication his fellow Knott residents had to the competition.
“Throughout this whole month I’ve only seen people using the elevator a few times, and pretty much everyone was on board with it,” he said. “Sometimes people would even be in the room with the lights off.”