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New program tracks students’ energy consumption

Graphic by Anastasia Rooke

After Kailey Boltrucyzk (‘21) heard an on-campus speaker talk about energy consumption, she decided to inspire students to save energy in the Sutton Place Apartments. 

With the help of Facilities Services, Boltrucyzk, biology major and social entrepreneurship minor, created a sustainability competition in Sutton Place Apartments.

Every student in the building is automatically entered in the contest with the opportunity to win the $300 first place prize or $200 second place prize. The contest will run until Feb. 28. 

The only Sutton residents who will not participate in the contest are Boltrucyzk and her roommates, in order to avoid accusations of bias. However, they will still attempt to reduce their energy consumption as much as possible throughout the month.

“The whole purpose of it is to have kids break bad habits,” said Boltrucyzk. These bad habits include keeping the lights on and leaving unused electronics plugged-in. “It only takes 21 days to break and start a habit,” she said.

Boltrucyzk will use an Excel sheet to record energy consumption measurements, retrieved from each apartment’s metered system, on the first and last days of the competition. She will then divide the total energy consumption by each resident to get an average number.

The competition will only measure energy consumption, not trash or recycling disposal. 

“It’s a little tricky to read [the meters], but I work with an electrician at Rollins to help me look at the numbers,” said Boltrucyzk. Also helping her with the contest is Scott Bitikofer, assistant vice president of Facilities Services. “He’s helped me so much with it, and I really owe everything to him,” she said. 

Boltrucyzk was inspired to start this initiative after a guest speaker in one of her social entrepreneurship classes described a similar competition at University of Central Florida (UCF).

According to Boltrucyzk, the speaker revealed that UCF saved $45,000 worth of energy by the end of the competition. 

“I was blown away by that,” she said. 

As for whether this is something she would like to continue annually, Boltrucyzk has not thought that far ahead. She said that her primary goal is “to have students be engaged in sustainable activities.” 

Expanding the event also seems unlikely since the other dormitories on campus do not have the same metered system as Sutton. This would make calculating energy consumption more complicated.

“My main idea was to get every single building to do it,” said Boltrucyzk. This was until Bitikofer informed her that the other buildings are metered per floor or building rather than per room. For now, Sutton is the only feasible option.

The money for the cash prize will be provided by Facilities Services. The $500 will be given to Boltrucyzk and then be split into first and second place prizes.

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