While you are all thinking of unPLUg, it’s important to put some numbers in the mix. If students only knew how much of their tuition dollars are going to utilities, they may start to notice when that microwave that no one ever uses gets left plugged in.
At PLU, electricity accounts for approximately $730,ooo. If that money wasn’t going towards electricity, it would most likely go into new programs, facilities upgrades, and even a decrease in tuition. Instead, it goes for lights to keep rooms bright while you’re learning and appliances to make dorm rooms feel more homey; all good things. Unfortunately, those only account for about 48% of that bill. The other 52% goes to phantom loads, leaving lights on for no reason at all, and powering things through the night as we sleep.
And that can add up! Last October (the baseline being used to judge this year’s unPLUg bracket), 8 resident halls used $21,846 worth of electricity. Here’s that list broken down:
Stuen and Ordal combined – 266 students, $6,650 and 143.6 kWh used per resident
Tingelstad alone – 330 students, $5,580, and 210.5kWh used per resident
Pfluefer Hall – 191 students, $3,650, and 303.4 kWh used per resident
Hinderlie, Hong and Kreidler combined – 290 students, $1,948 and 153.14 kWh per resident
Foss Hall – 182 students, $2,855, and 384 kWh used per resident
Harstad Hall – 179 students, $1,161 and 143.4 kWh used per resident
Quite the pretty penny, and not so great for the environment either. What are you doing to unPLUg?