Western Carolina University will again go head-to-head with Appalachian State University from Monday, Feb. 18, to Monday, March 11, in the Battle of the Plug, an energy conservation rivalry contest inside the Campus Conservation Nationals competition.
During the three-week competition, WCU will measure which campus residence hall saves the greatest percentage of energy as well as how the percent of energy reduction overall compares with about 200 other institutions, including Appalachian State. Last year, WCU won the Battle of the Plug rivalry contest by reducing energy usage 7.5 percent while ASU reduced energy usage 2.4 percent.
This year’s goal at WCU is to reduce energy usage by 10 percent, according to information from WCU’s Energy Management office.
To spread the word, organizers Lauren Bishop, energy manager for WCU, and Jenna White and Taylor Hall, energy management interns, teamed up with the Department of Residential Living, the Student Government Association and the Resident Student Association to promote the Battle of the Plug.
RSA and SGA have pledged to support the Battle of the Plug through initiatives such as “Whee Turn Off Tuesdays,” a voluntary campaign to turn off all lights and use less electricity on Tuesdays during the competition and “Whee Glow,” a free event in the Illusions venue in A.K. Hinds University Center from 7 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, said Bishop.
Bishop and White have arranged for table tents promoting the Battle of the Plug to be in various dining locations on campus and related door hangers to be in residence halls. In addition, residence halls will host programs to promote the event and free giveaways during the competition.
The idea to use the WCU-ASU rivalry to boost energy conservation and awareness came to Bishop a few years ago, and the framework of the Campus Conservation Nationals competition provided a vehicle to make it easier for the idea to become a reality, she said.
“We want to use every marketing avenue available to us, and there are many, but word of mouth is the best way to get students involved,” said Bishop. “All in all, we are excited to have created the buzz about this competition through the rivalry with App State.”