A campaign to encourage energy saving launched by Dr Neil Jennings of UEA has been announced as a finalist in the Ashden Awards that reward campaigns for protecting the environment.
Student Switch Off was first piloted at UEA in 2007, and is being recognised for its work in encouraging students to save energy in simple ways, like switching off lights when the room is empty, and using lids on their saucepans.
Last year, 43 universities and 18,000 students participated in the scheme and helped save a total of £232,000, cutting the electricity use of the universities involved by over 7%. It achieved this through the use of social media, and incentives for students who were involved.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder of Ashden, said: “Our UK finalists offer a glimpse of what a thriving low-carbon economy will look like in the future. We applaud the Student Switch Off campaign for its pioneering work to motivate large numbers of young people to cut their energy use, so helping participating universities cut costs during these times of resource scarcity.”
The campaign has been nominated alongside eight other initiatives across the country that encourage energy efficiency, the use of sustainable energy, and changing people’s behaviour. In doing so, all the nominated campaigns have helped reduce fuel bills in a variety of locations and help both home-owners and local authorities in preparation for the government’s upcoming Green Deal.
The Ashden Awards will be presented on 30 May, where five winners will be announced, one of which will win the Gold Award, the highest accolade available. All winners receive a prize of £10,000 each, while the Gold Award winner receives £20,000.
Butler-Sloss added: “We’re keen to share more widely their experience of changing behaviour, so the lessons they have learned can be replicated throughout universities and other institutions across the country.”