Stouffer, Jaffe Building win Power Down Challenge


Energy reduction levels were similar to last year's results in the three-week long competition


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Winners of the Power Down Challenge — a three-week long energy reduction competition organized by Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services — were released yesterday, with few surprises compared to previous years.

The Jaffe History of Art Building, located at 3405 Woodland Walk, won the campus building competition, with a total energy reduction of 21.6 percent. Stouffer College House, which reduced its energy usage by 14.5 percent, won the college house competition.

These results were similar to the total energy reduction of last year’s winners, the Franklin Building and the Quad.

Although FRES has finalized the list of Power Down winners, it does not yet have final numbers for every participant.

“These reductions don’t just happen on their own,” Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Dan Garofalo said. “It takes work, and it takes engagement.”

The winning college house gets to choose its own prize. Last year, the Quad chose to have a party and held a raffle for a bicycle. The winning campus building enjoyed a hot chocolate and cookie party in its lobby.

Now that the Power Down Challenge is over, FRES intends to send out surveys to residents of college houses, asking them what messaging made them pay attention to the competition. They will also approach campus buildings and college houses and show them their precise energy reductions and other analytics on how they can further reduce their usage.

Although there was an overall reduction in campus energy usage during the challenge, some buildings — such Harrison and Harnwell college houses — did see increases in energy use during the three-week period. To explain this phenomenon, Eco-Reps Program Director Julian Goresko pointed out that the challenge takes place in November, which is much colder than preceding months. He also pointed to some anomalies in energy tracking.

“We’re looking at this as a learning experience, which makes it a positive outcome, no matter what the energy reduction was,” he said.

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