Kill-A-Watt: A Campaign to Increase Energy Efficiency on the Columbia University Campus

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kill-A-Watt's Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The purpose of Kill-A-Watt is to research the current energy use and student habits on campus as well as find a way to decrease this energy use. Barnard is set to spend 1.9 USD million on electrical costs for the year of 2005-2006 alone. If students were more energy conscious, the possible energy savings would be substantial. In addition to being financially beneficial to the college, energy efficiency and consciousness on campus contributes to the larger picture of being environmentally aware, as well. Columbia’s energy use is comparable to that of a small city – this is no small contribution year in and year out to the depletion of our natural resources and contribution to negative energy related effects such as global warming.

Often times students are unaware of the ways in which they use and waste energy. Kill-A-Watt has set out to see which areas of student energy habits provide room for improvement through a survey of students, as well as compile suggestions for students of ways in which they can increase their energy efficiency.

Kill-A-Watt understands the need for incentive in promoting energy efficiency. Our final paper includes an idea for one way in which the college could provide incentive for students to be more energy efficient. The proposal is an incentive-based housing system which would rely on students' energy efficiency to determine housing selection times. Given enough incentive, even the most apathetic, ‘anti-energy-conscious’ student could be driven to energy efficiency.

We have also researched an extensive list of ways in which students can decrease their energy use. This list of suggestions is especially helpful for students who would like to be more energy efficient, but are not sure how to do so beyond just turning off their lights at night.

In the upcoming semester, the student run Columbia television station, CTV, has agreed to run advertisements and informational spots about energy efficiency and how students can be more energy conscious in their daily lives. This is one more way in which Kill-A-Watt has been and will be spreading the message of the importance of and ways for students to be conscious, efficient energy users.

We have used the social networking group of Facebook ( to great success this semester in encouraging students to visit our ELEA blog as well as fill out the survey on student energy habits from which we have gleaned statistical information. The Facebook has provided us with a medium and a resource for connecting students at Columbia University with our contribution to energy efficiency. We will continue to use it as a vehicle for spreading the message of energy efficiency on campus.

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