"Residence Energy Awareness & Reduction" Competition

November 2011

The competition will run from Monday, October 31, 2011 up to and including Sunday, November 27, with energy consumption tabulated and one House (and one Suite) declared the winner.

Competition Objectives

The competition objective is to reduce energy consumption and build energy awareness for our future.

What is the Competition?

Competition 1: The House that has the biggest energy reduction (kWh) for the 4 weeks of the competition.
Prize 1: Each person will win a $70 Metrotown Gift Card and a blanket to keep warm.

Competition 2: The Suite that saves energy in the most creative way(s). Add your pictures/videos on facebook and tag 'Maq Blast' to the pics!
Prize 2: Each person will win a $60 Metrotown Gift Card and a blanket to keep warm.

Yes, you can win both prizes!

How Your House Can Win the Competition

Remember, your house's energy savings are measured relative to how your house used energy over past years at the same time of year. So each house has a fair chance to win.

Put into action some or all of these energy saving tips, to win.

Another big hint is that heating (room air heating and hot water heating) is the biggest energy consumption of your residence house. Avoid excessive electric heater use (lower room temperatures and avoid having both heat on and windows open), and shorten your showers and other hot water use. These will be huge factors to help you win.

Energy consumption will be monitored through the month, with one house declared the winner at the end of the month (after November 27th).

Why Hold a Competition?

As a society we take electricity for granted almost like the air we breathe. Electricity isn't visible so it is hard to keep track of how much we use in the moment. The premise of the Competition pages is that providing easy access to near real-time feedback on electricity consumption, the related costs and impact on greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the environment, will help us better understand our energy consumption patterns and the behaviours behind those patterns.

The Competition pages provide direct feedback to Residence staff and students about the choices you make about how you use electricity, for example choosing to turn off lights when leaving a room, to turn heat off or down, or to take shorter showers. The unit of kWh gives you an actual measure of turning things off or down. Making your consumption visible lets you see the impact of your choices for using electricity on things like electricity bill costs (billed by kWh), and on GHGs and the environment (equivalencies between kWh and CO2e).

Currently each residence house has one meter, enabling researchers to monitor total consumption for each house. Eventually we hope to expand monitoring to enable further breakdowns.

What Similar Studies Have Gained

The winners of a similar 2 week competition conducted by a college in the US were able to reduce their dormitory electricity consumption by a whopping 50%! Overall all of their dorms reduced their electricity by 30%. A recent study based on their research found that on average, dormitories were able to reduce electricity consumption by close to 30%. At BCIT's Maquinna Residences, similar reduction in electricity consumption could result in a cost saving of over $40,000 per year.

BCIT's first Competition was held over a 2 week period in January 2010. For that 2 week period Maquinna Residence students successfully reduced their energy consumption by almost 20%.

A second competition was held in October and November 2010, and this time, the house which reduced its energy the most during peak-demand hours of the day (as calculated by a time-of-use energy cost) won the competition. The winning house achieved an overall energy reduction of 24% and an average reduction in morning-peak consumption of 30% through the competition period. The winning house in the November 2010 competition also achieved the greatest single-day peak reduction of 48% below baseline during morning peak hours on one of the competition days.

What We Hope to Achieve

BCIT's Smart Microgrid is the first of it's kind in Canada. The November 2011 House competition is our third "Residence Energy Awareness and Reduction" competition at BCIT.

During this competition we hope you will achieve significant reductions in the energy consumption of your residence house and that you will learn, through direct experience and by using the energy monitoring web portal, the factors that make the biggest difference in a building's energy consumption. This will help us learn about how energy awareness contributes to energy reduction, and it will help BCIT play a part in saving energy and saving the environment.