Current Students

UTAS Energy Challenge Winners

illustration of finger switching off a light switch

This year the UTAS Energy Challenge, held over the month of August, has been a great success. It was made up of three separate challenges. The combined monthly energy cost saving for the three challenges exceeded $5,300.

Thirteen departments, sections and schools across the state participated in the Switch Off Challenge to reduce out-of-hours energy use from appliances and lighting.

The winners for best performance in this challenge wereZoology  in Hobart with 88 per cent of equipment switched off and the English Language Centre  in Newnham achieving a 75 per cent switch off.

The department most improved over August was the School of Sociology and Social Work in Launceston. First prize in the Switch Off Challenge was $1,350; $900 for second prize; and $450 for third, in addition to a hamper of Fairtrade goodies for each winner.

Prize money is to be spent on sustainability initiatives around the winning offices.

Accommodation students from each campus committed to reducing their energy usage for the month in the Kill-a-Watt Challenge. The North West Rural Clinical School Apartments came in first place with a massive decrease of 47 per cent. Residents in Block 8 at Newnham came second with a nine per cent decrease and John Fisher College only just missed out on prizes with a six per cent decrease.

Four labs from northern and southern campuses participated in the Shut your Sash Challenge by switching off fume cupboards and/or shutting their sashes to reduce energy expended from the exhaust.

The winners for this challenge are the School of Pharmacy (best performance at 86 per cent) and the National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability (largest improvement 20 per cent).

Both participants will receive $700 to spend on sustainability initiatives and a hamper of Fairtrade goodies.

Total energy savings for each challenge over the month of August were:

  • Kill-A-Watt –23,850 kWh less energy, saving $3,000.
  • Switch Off – 9,850 kWh less energy, saving $1,000.
  • Shut your Sash – 36,000 kWh less energy, saving $1,300.

Energy audits prior to the challenge identified that some UTAS groups had already implemented a number of energy saving practices prior to the challenge. These, combined the improved practices implemented during the challenge month create an estimated $90,000 in annualised savings and a reduction of UTAS carbon emissions by 366 tonnes.

For more information on how you can save energy (and money) and reduce carbon emissions, visit the UTAS Property Services sustainability website or email

Published on: 20 Sep 2012 11:58am