Purdue launches 'Boiler Up, Power Down' campaign

April 14, 2010

Purdue has kicked off a new energy conservation awareness campaign, "Boiler Up, Power Down," which challenges faculty, staff and students to change their behavior to support a more environmentally responsible and cost-efficient Purdue.

"Boiler Up, Power Down is intended to be a long-term commitment to engage the campus community about energy conservation," says Erick Van Meter, task force lead for the Sustaining New Synergies energy conservation initiative and director of utilities. "Creating an energy-conscious community will be a significant asset in benefitting the environment and helping to control annual operating expenses of the University today and in the future."

Boiler Up, Power Down began April 5 with an energy conservation competition between five residence halls: Earhart, Harrison, First Street Towers, McCutcheon and Shreve. Energy metering devices will collect data at the halls through April 18, and the results of the competition will be announced during Purdue's Earth Day celebration on April 22.

The entire campus is encouraged to take part in another Boiler Up, Power Down activity called Power Down Hour on April 20.

Faculty, staff and students will be asked to turn off lights, computers and equipment wherever possible from noon to 1 p.m. that day.

"We wanted to challenge people to be proactive and see what a difference turning off the lights or a computer for just one hour can make," says Stephanie Williams, Sustaining New Synergies graduate assistant and a coordinator for Boiler Up, Power Down. "We hope that when people see how easy and effective that effort can be, they will end up making conservation measures a part of their daily routine."

Purdue Utilities will closely monitor campus electric power consumption before, during and after Power Down Hour to  determine the impact of campus participation. Results will be reported on Earth Day.

Also on Earth Day, faculty, staff and students can sign the Boiler Up, Power Down pledge to conserve energy. Those who pledge will receive stewardship cards that they can give others to bring attention to areas that could be improved to conserve energy, such as turning off lights or unplugging appliances that are not in use. The cards also bear the sustainability pledge.

Booths will be set up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Academy Park to allow people to pledge and to pick up energy conservation stickers that can be placed on light switch covers.

The Boiler Up, Power Down campaign is a collaborative effort stemming from the Sustaining New Synergies Task Force, Purdue's Sustainability Council, Physical Facilities, University Residences and student groups Boiler Green Initiative, Net Impact Purdue, Energy Club, and Engineers for a Sustainable World.

Van Meter says the group will continue events such as the residence hall competition and Power Down Hour next year as well as add activities to the campaign.

"Our goal is to make this a sustainable program that will continue to provide different means of keeping energy awareness and conservation out in front of the University community," Van Meter says.

More information about Boiler Up, Power Down and other sustainability efforts can be found at www.purdue.edu/sustainability.

'Boiler Up, Power Down' and Earth Day activities

* April 5-18: Residence hall energy competition.

* April 20: Power Down Hour. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to turn off lights, computers and equipment wherever possible from noon to 1 p.m.

* April 22: Earth Day booths featuring Boiler Up, Power Down pledge sign-up; Purdue Sustainability Council; Grounds Department; University Residences; Purdue Food Stores; student groups Boiler Green Initiative, Net Impact Purdue, Chemical Engineering Sustainability Initiative; and Hoosier Environmental Council. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Academy Park.

* April 22: Earth Day presentation. The University's new sustainability strategic plan will be unveiled, and Purdue will be recognized for earning the 2009 Tree Campus USA designation. Results of the residence hall energy competition, Recyclemania and Power Down Hour will be presented. 1:30 p.m. Academy Park.

How you can help

* Turn off lights when not in use.

* Unplug appliances that are not being used.

* Consider which appliances are most needed at school or in the workplace.

* Use the stairs instead of elevator when convenient.

* Encourage peers to take the "Boiler Up, Power Down" pledge.