10th Annual EcoMadness Competition!

This week marks the beginning of the Tenth Annual EcoMadness Competition! Over the month of October, students in over twenty residence halls will be competing to reduce their water and energy consumption.

There are four categories to measure the dorms’ progress:

  • Per Capita Water Reduction
  • Per Capita Energy Use Reduction
  • Percent Water Reduction
  • Percent Energy Use Reduction

To reduce their dorm’s energy and water consumption, students undertake a variety of tasks. Energy can be saved by using desk lamps with LED bulbs, unplugging devices when not in use, and washing clothes with cold water. Water can be saved by taking shorter showers, doing laundry with full loads, and shutting off the sink while brushing teeth.

These simple activities have reduced some residence halls’ energy and water consumption by as much as 35%!

To lead their dorms to victory, the Office of Environmental Policy calls on residents to volunteer as EcoCaptains. These students post fliers and posters around their residence halls, organize activities, and provide weekly updates to the OEP on how the dorms are doing.

The winning dorm for each category will receive a certificate and a free ice cream party in November featuring Dairy Bar Ice Cream!

Find out more about EcoMadness here!

EcoMadness Winners!

The final results of EcoMadness 2013 are in, and we have our winners!

Congratulations, Allen/Kingston, Beecher/Vinton, Sprague and Holcomb!


Throughout the entire competition, Towers claimed first place in the water reduction category. During the first week, Beecher/Vinton was in first place, but for the rest of the competition, Allen/Kingston continued to represent Towers and overtook the water reduction category. By the end of the competition, Allen/Kingston had managed to reduce their water consumption by a very impressive 10.3%.  Sprague ended up remaining in second place for a majority of the competition, finishing with a 9.6% reduction. Similarly, Hanks of Northwest campus remained in third place for most of duration of EcoMadness and finished with a 4.9% reduction. Sprague also placed as a leader in per capita water usage with 31.9 gallons of water used per student, followed by two Northwest campus dormitories – Terry and Hanks – with 33.3 and 33.9 gallons of water used per student.


Towers, again, took over the energy reduction category for most of the competition. During the first, second and third week, Beecher/Vinton, Hamilton/Wade/Fenwick/Keller and Allen/Kingston of Towers placed high in the leaderboards.  Sprague and Shippee also placed in the energy reduction category. At the end of the competition, Beecher/Vinton placed first, Whitney placed second and Shippee placed third with a 6.4%, 6.3% and 5.2% reduction, respectively.  Holcomb, Hollister A/Hollister B and Buckley were the leaders in per capita electricity usage. Students in Holcomb used 3.2 kWh, students in Hollister A/Hollister B used 3.3 kWh and students in Buckley used 3.4 kWh of electricity.

EcoMadness Kick Off Party in East
EcoMadness Kick Off Party in East
EcoMadness Kick Off Party in NorthWest
EcoMadness Kick Off Party in NorthWest









The reductions were close, all around, with only a few gallons and kWh separating first from second and third place! Overall, however, it is thrilling to be able to see so many dormitories reduce their water and energy consumption throughout the entire course of EcoMadness. Although the competition is over, continue to keep up the great work and remember to keep conserving! And, to the winners of EcoMadness 2013, be sure to enjoy your ice cream party! You should be proud of yourself for demonstrating excellent conservation and sustainable lifestyle practices throughout the entire four weeks of the semester.

– Meredith

Are You Ready for Some Sustainability!

This week marked the beginning of the EcoMadness Competition!  We’ll be running features on EcoMadness throughout the month of October to encourage those of you who are participating! The goal is to reduce the amount of water and energy your dorm uses – we’ve been monitoring your usage during September, and we’ll be sending you updates with your usage and reduction during October.  Check with your RA or Hall Director if you’re unsure if your building is part of the competition.  If you want to be part of the competition next year, let us know where you live! If you want to be an Eco-Captain for your building, join us for our first meeting tonight – 10/3/13 – at 6:30pm in 163 Austin (formerly CLAS).  We’ll go over the basics, give you tips for motivating your fellow students, and give you a t-shirt to wear to EcoMadness events, and help get you excited to save water and energy in your dorms!

ecomadness poster1

Preparing for EcoMadness

Here at the Office of Environmental Policy, we are in the midst of preparing for this year’s EcoMadness Event.  During the month of EcoMadness, participating residence halls contend in a race to reduce their energy and water usage.  The 7th annual EcoMadness competition will kick off next week, beginning on Sunday, September 29.

There are several ways to measure energy efficiency. Observing trends in the consumption of water and electricity are only a couple of the various approaches. Imagine being able to access this kind of information at any point of the day, and being able to look back at previous energy consumption trends throughout the week, or even throughout the month. Are you a resident of Buckley, and have you ever been curious about the amount of water the entire dormitory consumes at any given day? Or, maybe you are a resident of Whitney, and are curious about how having a dining hall included in your dormitory affects total water and energy consumption?

Unbeknownst to most of the campus community, these kinds of energy statistics are available to anyone online at the campus energy dashboard. Located as a part of the UConn Facilities Operations webpage (, the campus energy dashboard, graphically and statistically, tracks various trends in water and electricity usage for buildings and residence halls on campus. At the Office of Environmental Policy, the campus energy dashboard is accessed on a regular basis. The energy statistics are compiled into spreadsheets to ultimately be used to determine the baseline water and electricity figures for the dormitories participating in EcoMadness. When EcoMadness begins, the campus energy dashboard will still be accessed in order to compare current water or electricity consumption figures to the baseline consumption figures. The dormitories that show the greatest reduction in consumption will be rewarded (with ice cream), although any reduction will be applauded (because conservation is its own reward). The primary goal of EcoMadness is to instill a behavioral change in students that will cause them to be mindful of how their everyday actions impact their carbon footprint and the environment.

By accessing the campus energy dashboard, you can always check to see how much water and energy your building is using on a daily basis. You can even compare these values to your competition’s water and energy use (We should note that our office has to make some adjustments for additional features like emergency lighting and dining halls for the official competition results).  In the future, the energy dashboards located in Oak and Laurel Hall will also be able to provide anyone on campus with access to data on water and energy consumption.  In the meantime, though, it’s time to go green with EcoMadness! Stay blue, UConn.

– Meredith and Brianna