UNI Student Energy! Project
Implementation / How-to Steps
If you are interested in getting a program started, here are some steps to take. This information is written as a research project. However, certain steps can be omitted if you are just interested in working with students toward energy reduction.
- Consult with University Department of Residence staff and participating residence hall coordinators about the project. In this step, your goal is to enlist their support, give them a preview of the project activities, and assure them that you will not take additional staff time or resources.
- Conduct pre-survey of students in two residence halls regarding their current attitudes, behaviors and thoughts on energy use and energy conservation. Try to give the survey at the first house meeting of the school year when attendance will be the highest.
- Consult with your campus Energy Services staff to get meter readings and calculate energy use in the two residence halls. Begin meter reading in September and continue through April.
- Randomly determine which residence hall will get interventions and which will be the control group.
- Consult with student Residence Assistants (RAs) in residence halls to enlist their cooperation and leadership in the project. We found that RAs serve as role models and leaders. It is key to involve them from the beginning to be project leaders and/or role models on their residence floors. We asked RAs to find an energy representative from their floor who would attend energy meetings, help develop energy reduction projects for the residence hall, recruit other students to participate, and receive a stipend at the end of the year if they fulfill the requirements.
- Train RAs and energy representatives in project content and facilitating student groups/projects. These students will receive a participation incentive for being trained and being leaders to work with other students on their floor and in the residence hall.
- Work with student energy representatives to involve as many students as possible from the entire residence hall in several energy reduction projects. Students will work in small groups to brainstorm ways they can monitor and reduce energy use in their residence hall (conserving energy).
- The project focuses on energy uses as determined by students. Some of these may include: a) the energy use of computers; b) turning off lights in rooms, hallways, and lobbies; c) energy use of room appliances including stereos, television sets, and refrigerators; d) educate students about reasons for reducing energy use and how.
- Apply these student-developed behavior interventions in one residence hall for 3-5 months.
- After interventions begin, meet with student representatives to develop a continuing plan of action for carrying out more efficient energy use. Educate students about the reasons for energy reduction and how to do that.
- Ask all students to make a written comminment of the actions they personally will take to conserve energy.
- Meet with student representatives to gather their perceptions of whether they followed their plan of action, i.e. did they meet their behavior goals in changing energy use.
- Have student representatives contact other students who completed a plan of action to find out how their plan is going and to give them encouragement and suggestions.
- Consult with your campus Energy Services staff to take meter readings and calculate energy use in both residence halls after interventions.
- Conduct post-survey of all students in both residence halls. View Timeline
- Analyze survey date and metered energy use to determine effect of energy use interventions in one residence hall.