11th Annual Austin College Residence Hall
Energy Conservation Competition
AC Unplugged 2020
When: October 5 - November 2, 2020
Goal: To reduce the electricity consumption in Baker Hall, Caruth Hall, Clyce Hall, Dean Hall, and the Hass Village on Grand below the baseline electricity consumption.
Why: Austin College students have a long tradition of service leadership and concern for the environment. With this competition students can help lower the college’s impact on the environment and raise money for deserving non-profit organizations. View a thank you letter from Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County, a 2012 UnPlugged beneficiary, expressing both gratitude for the donation and the focus on energy use awareness.
Prizes: Participating residents of the Village on Grand who (a) reduce their electricity use the most in October or (b) use the least amount of energy in October will be reimbursed for their entire October energy bill. Caruth, Clyce, Dean, and Baker Halls will cooperatively donate their prize money for West Coast wildfire relief at the end of the competition. The winning dorm will be awarded the official Thinking Green Championship Belt and bragging rights for the year!
Below are the results from AC Unplugged 2019:
Baker Hall was victorious last year! Can your residence hall top its 2019 standings?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the best ways for me to reduce electricity use in my residence hall?
Turn off electrical devices when not in use (use power strips to turn off items in standby). Make sure there is nothing plugged in or turned on when you leave (especially over the weekend). This includes computer and cell phone battery chargers, TVs in standby mode, even refrigerators can be emptied with the doors propped open and turned off.
2. How much electricity does AC use per year – and how much does it cost?
Austin College uses approximately 15,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year at a cost in excess of $1 million.
3. Doesn’t less electricity use mean less fun?
It doesn’t have to. Go to the Pouch club or outside to play with friends, or if you are going to watch TV why not make it a group activity (less electricity use per person)? Play cards or other games that don’t require electricity. By being creative you can still have fun without using as much electricity.
4. Is the competition residence hall vs. residence hall or our residence hall this year versus the same residence hall against the baseline?
Both – each residence hall’s goal is to use less electricity but each hall is competing with the other halls for the greatest reduction of electricity use.
5. How will we know our residence hall electricity use?
Signs of electricity use for each residence will be posted on the WCC televisions and posted at each residence hall. Each Wednesday the standings and results will be displayed outside the Dining Hall in Wright Campus Center around lunch time, so check to see where your hall stands in the competition.
6. My residence hall is in last place in the competition. Why should we care?
With a little bit of effort and thoughtfulness, it is easy to decrease electricity use. This is an opportunity to build up valuable habits that will save you money on your electricity bill when you graduate, not to mention that it is good for the environment! We've also seen pretty dramatic shifts in the week-to-week competition in years past, so don't count your residence hall out!
7. Does the competition last for longer than a month?
No, but your efforts to reduce electricity use on campus don’t have to end when the competition is over. All of the electricity you help the campus save allows the campus to use that money for other programs.