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University ‘blackout’ to reduce energy use

Published: 
25 April 2013

Students and staff at the University of Southampton are taking up the challenge to reduce weekend energy consumption across three University campuses by turning off all non-essential equipment.

The team of volunteers will spend Friday evening (26 April 2012) tracking down and turning off electrical items, such as PCs, printers, lights and mobile phone chargers – which aren’t needed on a Saturday or Sunday. The ‘blackout’ is thought to be the largest of its kind in a UK university.

Volunteers will turn off non-essential electrical equipment
University 'blackout'

University Sustainability Action Chair, Simon Kemp, comments: “The event highlights the significant financial and environmental impact that we can all have when we make the effort to switch off everyday items like computers, monitors, lights, fans and phone chargers at the end of the day.”

Dr Neil Smith, the University’s Environment Manager, adds: “We believe this exercise will highlight the huge impact that small, collective actions can have on energy consumption across our campuses.”

After the exercise, energy use on the campuses over the weekend of 27 / 28 April will be compared with a similar weekend, to show how much energy has been saved. The University will be able to use this data to identify buildings with the highest energy wastage and work to reduce this.

Following the success of the last year’s Blackout, which saved more than £1,600 and seven tonnes of carbon – enough to power 5 family homes for a year – this year’s event is set to be bigger and more ambitious. This year we are including Avenue campus and Winchester School of Art as well as Highfield campus in the Blackout.

It will take around three hours to power-down all the equipment from 7pm and progress can be followed on Twitter using #sotonblackout

Watch the video made by SUSU TV to find out more about the Blackout and help to save energy.

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