Unplug efforts lead to a 3.5 per cent energy saving in one long weekend

Efforts by York community members to reduce their energy consumption over the Family Day long weekend in February led to a 3.55 per cent reduction in energy consumption from the same period in 2009.

The reduction, which amounts to 22,729 kilowatt hours, is the equivalent of preventing 16.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. It would take 419 tree seedlings more than 10 years to achieve a similar effect. The energy saved is the equivalent of the amount required to power Vari Hall for 8.57 days.

The data collected was obtained using York’s new energy consumption monitoring system. The new electronic meters were installed in buildings on the Keele campus, and the system is capable of monitoring electricity consumption building by building, rather than on a campus-wide basis.

You can keep up the momentum for the Easter long weekend by shutting down your computer and turning off your office equipment, including lights, shredders, chargers and radios. For shared kitchenette areas, be sure to designate one person to unplug all appliances, including microwaves, coffee machines, water coolers, kettles and toasters.

With people working together, York University will be able to achieve its five-year goal of reducing energy consumption by 25 per cent.

The ability to shut down certain electrical devices will vary depending on departmental requirements. Click here to review University Information Technology’s list of recommendations on what to unplug.

For more information, visit the Yorkwise Web site and look for the Unplug icon. For information on reducing your own carbon footprint, visit the Zerofootprint Web site, which offers a free and easy-to-use carbon footprint calculator.