Energy Challenge

2016 Competition

From March 22 – April 7, Columbia’s undergraduate residential community* is invited to commit to the Energy Challenge, a hall-to-hall competition to reduce electricity output. The building that achieves the greatest percentage reduction in electricity use will win a catered party. Individuals who sign the "I Commit to Conserve" pledge will also be entered for a chance to win an iPad Air.

Reduce your electricity consumption by undertaking simple actions that yield a strong collective impact: turning off lights and unplugging electronic devices when not in use are just a couple of actions that can go far in reducing CO2 emissions from the power plants that supply our energy. 
Track Results
Get daily updates on how your building is faring in the competition by visiting the Building Dashboard. Congratulations to Carman Hall, who won the 2016 Energy Challenge with a 10% reduction in energy!

How You Can Help

Follow these simple, energy-saving tips to keep your building in the game over the course of the Energy Challenge.

Energy-Saving Tips
Turn off lights when not in useLighting and appliances account for 24% of direct CO2 emissions per U.S. household
Unplug electronics when not in use5% to 10% of household energy is consumed by devices that remain plugged in when not in use. Use a powerstrip for your electronics and power down in one motion
Take the stairsYou'll help conserve energy, lessen crowding in elevator cars, and burn 700% more calories
Swap your incandescent bulb for an energy-efficient bulb for free at the Hartley Hospitality Desk.***Energy-efficient bulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last six times longer. 
Don't block your heating and/or cooling units with furniture or clothingHelps keep units working efficiently
Reduce usage of hair dryers, shavers and other beautifying appliancesJust 15 minutes of blow-drying releases 1.2 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
Use cold water instead of hot water for your laundryYour clothes will be just as clean, but you’ll use 80% less energy
Keep your shower shortReduces the amount of energy required to heat your water and cuts down on gallons of water per shower
Encourage your fellow residents to participate in the Energy Challenge!The higher the participation in your residence, the greater the impact on the environment and your chances to score the grand prize building party.

Co-Sponsored by Eco-Reps, RHLO, Columbia Housing, Dining, Environmental Stewardship, Residential Life and Facilities


Fine Print

*Please note: Due to building infrastructure and metering requirements, 47 Claremont, 600 West 113th, John Jay, Harmony Hall, and the Brownstones are ineligible to take part in the Energy Challenge. However, residents of these buildings are eligible for the individual drawing and must complete the "I Commit to Conserve" pledge to enter.
**Only those students who take the pledge during the competition 3/22-4/7 will be eligible to win an iPad Air.
***While supplies last.


The grand prize is a catered party, to be awarded to the winning building.

The individual prize is an iPad Air awarded randomly to a student who commits to participate by taking the "I Commit to Conserve" pledge during the competition 3/22 - 4/7.**

  • Opening event, 3/22, 5 - 8 p.m.: Dine in the Dim at Ferris Booth Commons
  • Study breaks
3/23, 8 - 9 p.m., McBain lobby
3/24, 8 - 9 p.m., Schapiro lobby
3/28, 8 - 9 p.m., East Campus lobby
3/30, 8 - 9 p.m., Furnald lobby
4/4, Broadway lobby
4/6, 8 - 9 p.m., Carman lobby
  • Closing event, 4/8: Eco-Reps Greenfest
  • Look for energy breaks in select residence halls
  • Check out photos from last year's opening event