NYU’s 2nd Annual Month-Long Energy Reduction Contest, NYUnplugged, Is Underway!


The 2nd Annual residence hall energy reduction challenge, NYUnplugged, is taking place this month as part of New York University s celebration of Earth April 2009. The contest awards a trophy and a party in the dark to the hall that lowers its electricity use by the greatest percentage against a baseline of historical usage.

Contest Encourages Residence Halls to “Switch Off” for the Environment, April 2009

The 2nd Annual residence hall energy reduction challenge, NYUnplugged, is taking place this month as part of New York University’s celebration of “Earth April 2009.” The contest awards a trophy and a “party in the dark” to the hall that lowers its electricity use by the greatest percentage against a baseline of historical usage. Residence hall staff are helping students find new and creative ways to conserve energy, as well as gain a deeper understanding of energy challenges and simple ways to conserve.

In the first week of April, NYUnplugged has already created impressive results, with nearly all residence halls reducing consumption, and overall 4.84% less total energy consumption than the same time last April. Daily results of the challenge are tracked online, and available for viewing at http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/unplugged

Established through a Sustainability Task Force Green Grant in 2008, “NYUnplugged” was conceived by Adam Brock, then a senior at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. “I envisioned a competition between residence halls that lowers energy usage and encourages students to engage in their residence hall community through some good-natured competition,” says Brock of the project. The use of NYU’s “smart” energy meters in competing halls allows for up-to-the-minutelive streaming energy-use reports on the “NYUnpPlugged” website.

“We are very excited to have NYUnplugged running off of live streaming data from each building this year. This makes the results of the competition more poignant and allows participants to more clearly see how they directly impact our energy consumption,” says Sarah Boll, sustainability coordinator.

Boll also points out, however, the limitations of the new technology. “For results, we are dependent on these installed technologies, which like all technologies, have their hiccups. We hope that participants will be patient with us, enjoy the competition, and take away the over-all message that each person can make a difference,” she said.

Though Adam Brock graduated in 2008, the challenge was such an overwhelming success last year that the Sustainability Task Force chose to continue the project. “The ultimate goal,” says Jeremy Friedman, project administrator of the Sustainability Task Force, “is that as students compete to conserve the most energy, they will change their consumption habits and re-train themselves to naturally use and waste less.”

For more information about NYUnplugged 2009, please contact Christopher James at 212.998.6876 or christopher.james@nyu.edu


NYU’s Sustainability Task Force is an advisory body composed of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, charged with developing new policies and practices that improve environmental performance and foster a campus culture of eco-literacy. For more information on the Sustainability Task Force, go to http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability

Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876