Energy saving in Lithuanian SAVES universities and colleges

Friday 22-05-2015 - 15:49

Guest article by the Lithuanian dorm coordinator

The Student Switch Off campaign was launched in Lithuanian universities and colleges in September 2014. The campaign involves two universities and three colleges.

The campaign started with a very successful event at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) through the University Gediminas days. The Student Switch Off stand attracted a lot of attention, with lots of flyers, T-shirts and jumpers handed out, and 120 energy saving pledges collected.

Similar, but smaller-scale events took place in other participating universities and colleges.Interest in Student Switch Off campaign is large, as evidenced by Facebook, and every day more and more students join the campaign. Numerous students participate in the regular competitions.The prizes for the winners are Student Switch Off branded T-shirts, jumpers, cups, umbrellas. This not only raises the profile of the campaign for the participating universities and colleges, but also the wider public.

The objectives of the SAVES project are supported in participating universities and colleges and are parts of common strategies to become green universities and colleges. Here at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, in 2014 the Senate endorsed the Concept of Green University, which aims to contribute to the sustainable development of society, modernization and development of existing and planned infrastructure management with particular attention to the responsible and rational use of natural resources. Some ideas for the Concept were proposed by SAVES project Lithuanian members. The measures adopted have a wide spectrum - from energy-saving lamps with motion sensors or rain water collection and use, to the electronic documents system, promotion of cycling and electric vehicle charging station installation on campuses.

However, despite all efforts, it can be seen that many students still do not save electricity, although they are aware that they needs to do it. At the end of the Student Switch Off campaign for academic year 2014-15, Lithuanian project members will discuss the results and will suggest ways to reduce electricity consumption in dormitories (changing energy consumption habits (one example, VGTU created Energy-saving Recommender System for student dormitories and adapting small investments). Also, a proposal will be put forward to university authorities’ about including students living in dormitories when deciding how to use the money saved through energy saving. In this way, students are able to feel that their actions have positive and tangible results, which will further encourage more students to save energy during the term.

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