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The University of Southampton
Sustainability Action

Southampton Blackout goes national

Published: 10 September 2015
Blackout team

An award-winning initiative to engage students and staff with electricity and carbon saving, the Southampton Blackout, will take place on Friday 13 November.

At last year’s event, over 250 students and staff took part in the third Southampton Blackout, spending their Friday evening auditing and switching off unnecessary electrical equipment left on at the University.

This was the biggest Blackout yet, with students from all eight faculties signing up to audit 40 buildings across Highfield, Avenue, Winchester School of Art and, for the first time, Boldrewood.

The University and SUSU started working with NUS, and as a result 11 other institutions took part in the Blackout in 2014. Across all institutions, 563 students and 193 staff members switched off a total of 16,935 appliances! Plans are being made to for NUS to return nationally in 15/16.

Professor Simon Kemp, Co-Chair of Sustainability Action and academic lead for Southampton Blackout said of this year’s event:

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the National Union of Students to deliver Blackout across the United Kingdom. The great work conducted by our students and staff in the name of sustainability is creating wider ripples across the sector, an effect we aim to extend in the coming years.”

In Southampton, the 2014 results were positive, with over three quarters of computers already switched off when the audit teams arrived. The age of the University’s internal metering system meant that making the usual comparison with electricity usage over similar weekends was not possible in 2014 (this method is also susceptible to other variables, such as temperature), but the Blackout team are actively looking at new ways to illustrate the impact of the event this year.

If you’d like to volunteer for this year’s Blackout, please get in touch with Julia Kendal .

If you’re interested in the data from previous Blackouts and proposed investments in a new metering system at the University, please email .

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