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Local universities take the 'Power Down, Add Up' energy conservation challenge   


Students using less energy, building good habits during Energy Awareness Month

Post by Dan Kolbet

Power Down Add Up

Avista is again celebrating Energy Awareness month with a friendly competition between local university students called Power Down, Add Up, promoting energy efficient behavior with a population famous for their love of electronic devices and long, hot showers. The challenge aims to show students just how easy it is to reduce the amount of energy they use and how it all adds up in the end.

Power Down, Add Up is a competition in which students living in on-campus dorms or Greek housing compete against one another to use less energy during October. In its second year, the competition has grown from its inaugural competitors, Washington State University and Gonzaga University, to also include Whitworth University, North Idaho College and the University of Idaho. Last year during the month of October, students at Gonzaga and Washington State universities saved enough energy to light 591 homes for a day. Gonzaga won the challenge.

“We are excited to have every university that is an Avista electric customer involved this year,” said Chris Drake, lead energy efficiency program manager for Avista. “We can’t wait to see how much energy the collective efforts of these students can save. We hope to help students build good energy-saving habits before they’re out on their own paying an energy bill.”

Resident Advisors at each school are encouraging students to take simple steps like turning off electronics and unplugging chargers when not in use, turning off lights when leaving a room, and not letting the hot water run unused. When simple actions like these get pooled together they make a big collective impact.

“We know energy efficiency is the lowest cost, best new source of energy,” Drake said. “We are encouraging people to use less energy and preserve existing resources that may reduce the amount of new power plants in the future.”

Students will track their efforts using an online diary, and the three living groups that have the most energy saving activities will receive prizes. The winning university will receive a traveling trophy and bragging rights for a year to commemorate their savings. Avista will announce the winners in early November. Visit to track schools’ energy savings and see who’s in the lead.

Energy Awareness Month is a good reminder there are many things everyone can do to save energy, not only in October, but year round. To learn more about Avista’s energy efficiency programs, information and rebates, visit You can also find us on Facebook at

Posted by  System Account  on  10/3/2011
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