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'NRG' Games Begin On More Visible Note

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

On Jan. 30, the Office of Energy and Engineering began its second Energy Challenge. The "NRG" Games, the colloquial name of the challenge, pits the residence halls against each other to see which one reduces its energy consumption the most.

"The ‘NRG' Games competition is meant not only to lower electrical consumption but also to really get people thinking about how they use certain resources," said Robert Pion, sustainability program director and one of the project's lead organizers.

Among the main goals of the five-week competition is to emphasize the need for energy conservation on campus. To achieve this goal, organizers hope to reduce the electricity consumption of residence halls in comparison to electricity use during the same time last year.

"This year, we have a lot more organization behind [the competition] than in previous years," said Meg Lister, EcoPledge President and A&S  '12 .  We've been having ‘NRG' Games since my freshman year, but this year there's more visibility."

"Last year's competition didn't get off the ground," Pion said. All of last year's UGBC presidential candidates, however, promised more attention for the "NRG" Games in their platforms.

The "NRG" Games have been getting particular attention due to the placement of promotional posters in all of the residence halls. Also, many students are spreading the word around campus.

Groups of students have been appointed as Eco Reps and are assigned to encourage others of their respective residence communities to be aware of their energy consumption. These students work alongside resident advisors, who have been trained to help lower electricity use.

"At winter training, [Pion] came to speak to us about how to get people on our floor involved and how to conserve energy ourselves," said Christian Helleberg, a resident advisor in Gonzaga Hall and WCAS '12. "We went over the point of the ‘NRG' Games during our floor meeting, and I posted about it on the bulletin board."

Students are encouraged to keep the lights off in their room and leave any electronics unplugged whenever possible.

 As an incentive, there are weekly prizes for the residence hall that keeps its electrical use the lowest, and it will receive a plaque that the hall will keep for that given week. A grand prize will be given to the residence hall that uses the least amount of electricity for the five-week period.

"The champions will get a pizza party, t-shirts, and they keep the plaque. We also want the Eco Rep for the winning community to wear the green mustache," Pion said.

The green mustache is a reference to the promotional posters of St. Ignatius and BC Band leaders sporting green mustaches in support of energy conservation. These posters are part of the energy campaign that has been advertised around campus for some time, and is responsible for the "NRG" Games.

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