The Green Bay: Blackout – A review

BLACKOUT, an event where staff and student volunteers went around the participating academic buildings turning off lights and appliances before the weekend, occurred in November last year. Participating buildings included Penbryn P5, Cledwyn, Parry Williams and the Visualisation Centre.

blackoutAveraging across all the buildings surveyed, there was a 22% reduction in electricity consumption over the Blackout weekend. 53% of monitors, 38% of computers, 43% of laptops and 47% of chargers were left on. The volunteers turned off 177 monitors, 100 computers, 9 laptops and 28 chargers. If this was carried out across the whole of Penglais Campus for every weekend throughout the year it could save £60,000.

In addition, this could save 312 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere, as well as a further £5,000 through the Carbon Reduction Commitment, which places a charge per tonne of carbon emitted. This 312 tonnes of carbon a year is equivalent to 260 flights from New York to London.

Chris Woodfield, an Environmental Graduate Trainee, comments “It was really encouraging to see students and staff working together to carry out this simple exercise of auditing and turning off equipment, such as computers, laptops and monitors. The next Blackout event is scheduled in for next year, and I hope to expand the switch off to include Llandbadarn and Gogerddan Campuses”.

These simple actions all contribute to the University’s Carbon Management Strategy, which outlines a 30% reduction by 2030. The executive summary of the Carbon Management Strategy, developed by Janet Sanders, Energy Advisor (Estates Development Department), can be found on the following this link.

What you can do?

Challenge your lecturers and academic departments to take part in this event more frequently and undertake these small actions every day, sign up to future blackout events, tell your friends about the event to raise awareness of the impact small actions can make and take these small actions at home to help reduce your homes carbon footprint as well.

If you want to get involved in future Blackout events or hear about other sustainability issues here at the university you can join this Facebook page and details are posted there.

Find out more about sustainability at the university specifically then look here.

Alternatively you can email the sustainability team at: [email protected]