January 21 to February 17, 2017

This challenge is designed to encourage students living in Fanshawe's residences to reduce energy use and live more sustainable lives. There are many little things we can all do to make a big impact.

Tracking progress

For the challenge, a baseline energy usage will be established to compare your current energy consumption to. For the duration of the challenge, this page will be updated daily with a graph showing the latest results for each residence. Weekly results will be posted here and on the bulletin board in each residence lobby.

You can also like Fanshawe Sustainability on Facebook, where we will be posting updates and tips. You can also share your own conservation tips using #FanshaweECC!

February 1, 2017:

Vertical bar graph showing the total energy savings for the 2017 Residence Energy Conservation Challenge, as of February 1, 2017. R1 has saved 4937 kilowatt hours, R2 has saved -806 kWh, and R3 has saved 1459 kWh. The total energy savings across all three residences so far is 5590 kWh.
R1 (Falcon) is still in the lead by a landslide! R2 (Peregrine) has dropped into the negatives, using more energy instead of saving. Make sure you share your successes with your friends so we can all work together to conserve energy over the next 2 weeks!

What happened last year?

In 2016, the winner of the Residence Energy Conservation Challenge was R1 Falcon House, who saved a total of 18,000 kWh over the two weeks the challenge ran. That is enough energy to power the average Canadian home for an entire year!

Vertical bar graph showing the total energy savings from the 2016 Residence Energy Conservation Challenge. R1 saved 18,392 kilowatt hours, R2 saved 9,735 kWh, and R3 saved 0 kWh. The total energy savings across all three residences was 25,539 kWh.

This year, we are running our challenge for four weeks, and look forward to the winners surpassing the savings of last year.


The residence that has the highest energy conservation will win! A free pizza party will be held to celebrate the savings, courtesy of Fanshawe Sustainability.

Energy savings tips

Turn off the lights

This is one of the easiest things for us all to do. Make sure you turn off lights when you are not in a room. This includes common rooms and washrooms as well. Any light turned off will save energy and money.

Use free light

Try using lights only when they are needed. Most residence rooms receive enough light during the day from the sun, removing the need to turn the lights on at all. Try opening your blinds or curtains to allow this natural light to filter in.

Turn off computers and set energy savings functions

Leaving your computer on overnight can use up to 4kwh of electricity – that's the same as burning three pounds of coal! With most students owning personal computers, there is a great opportunity to save energy. Turn your computer off when you are not using it, or set the energy savings functions to sleep mode.

Note: the screensaver is not an energy savings function. They are designed to protect the screen, and will use the same amount of energy as when the computer is in use.

Minimize your phantom load

Many appliances and electronics we use consume energy even when they are not being used. These include TVs, DVD players, game consoles, computers, cell phone chargers, hair dryers and flat irons. This wasted energy is called Phantom Load, and the easiest way to save this energy is to unplug all appliances and electronics when they are not in use. Another option is to plug them all into power bars that you can turn off when not in use.

Take short showers

It can be nice to wake up in the morning during a nice long, hot shower; but a five minute shower can use up to 100L of water, and it takes a lot of energy to warm that water. By taking a shorter shower, you can significantly reduce water and energy usage.

Use the cold wash cycle

A large percentage of energy used by laundry machines goes into heating the water, so try washing on the cold cycle. There are many new types of soaps that are formulated specifically for cold water washes, and cost the same as regular detergents. Additionally, make sure you are always doing a full load to use the water and energy more efficiently.

Use a drying rack instead of the dryer

A dryer can consume upwards of 4 kWh. Use a drying rack or line to skip using the dryer. This will also increase the lifespan of your clothes and prevent some colours from fading.

Take the stairs

If you live on the lower floors of your building, try taking the stairs. Not only will you save time and get exercise, you also save energy.

Don't leave anything on when you are not home

Make sure you turn everything off when you go leave your room. Every little bit helps!