The Washington University Green Cup Energy Reduction Project

The Washington University Green Cup Energy Reduction Project

The Washington University Green Cup project aimed to raise student awareness about energy consumption within campus dormitories. Nate Haskins took the IT lead on the project, and Allison Haskins also participated by designing and building the WordPress website that displayed the Green Cup project marketing and reports. The project sought to provide real-time consumption data, creating a competitive element focused on achieving the lowest energy use.

Initial data analysis revealed surprising patterns, such as significant energy spikes between midnight and 2 am. This consistent trend across dorms illuminated key areas for targeted behavioral changes among students. Armed with this information, participants were motivated to unplug devices or reduce late-night energy use to lower their dorm’s overall consumption.

The multi-week contest encountered some technical challenges due to unreliable hardware. To maintain the project’s momentum, Nate implemented algorithms that estimated energy use based on historical data. These solutions ensured the project’s continuity.

Ultimately, the Green Cup project succeeded in its objectives. Students actively participated in the tournament, and significant reductions in electricity consumption were achieved across the participating dormitories. The case study highlights the efficacy of making energy use visible to promote positive behavioral change.