Ohio State students take part in competition to reduce energy

Meter at Ohio State University residence hall (10TV)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- Ohio State University students took part in a challenge to try and reduce energy in residence halls on campus.

A French company called ENGIE oversaw the Residence Hall Energy Challenge. They used smart meters attached to each of the university's 15 residence halls to measure energy usage, and offered prizes to those who conserved the most.

"Simple tasks like turning out their lights, making sure their video games are turned off or their computers are in sleep mode, anything they can do to reduce the amount of power they're using that's what we want them to do," Ohio State Emergency Management director Tom Reeves said.

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Third-year student Dominique Hadad worked with students to help them find ways to conserve. She said most of the behavior changes can be used by anyone, like washing clothes with cold water, staying on top of air filter changes, and setting the thermostat warmer in the summer. Just three degrees can make a drastic difference.

"A big thing is unplug your computer when it's fully charged because it will keep pulling electricity from the wall," Hadad said.

The energy manager for the program checked the usage data and tells 10TV as a result of the challenge, year-to-year Ohio State is using less electricity per square foot this year compared to last year.