News at the University of New Brunswick

Aitken House wins energy reduction competition

Author: Communications

Posted on Mar 26, 2010

Category: UNB Fredericton

Aitken House at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton was the winner of The Atlantic University and College Electrical Consumption Reduction Energy Challenge, which is a regional challenge for residences across the Atlantic Provinces.

There were 37 residences from seven campuses that participated in the challenge with more than 6,000 students involved in reducing energy usage.

Kevin Roy, Aitken House don at UNB, says their residence was able to win this challenge by doing a combination of many simple things. “We did things like turn off electrical devices when leaving for classes,” said Mr. Roy.

“We also had help from our maintenance staff who replaced most of the lights in our house with compact fluorescent bulbs. An effort was also made to turn off lights in common areas when they were not being used and water consumption was reduced by limiting shower times.”

Overall, these small initiatives amounted to a 24 per cent reduction in energy consumption over the course of the contest.

The contest was organized by the Atlantic University and Colleges Sustainability Network (AUCSN), which was formed to look at ways to share and collaborate on best practices with respect to sustainable energy and environmental practices.

UNB’s energy coordinator Gladys Lacey-House, who also represents UNB Fredericton on AUCSN, says the committee would like to see this challenge become an annual event.

“The electrical consumption of the campus is approximately 27 million kwh per year, with the residence system contributing 25 per cent to this overall total,” said Mrs. Lacey-House.

“The challenge provided students with the necessity to make a sustainable culture change in the reduction of electrical consumption. The students will be able to take this knowledge with them and apply it at home or work situations, as well as teach others.”

The men in Aitken House will be awarded a plaque, an energy upgrade kit, and $1,400 to go towards a sustainable project for their win.

Mr. Roy says a decision has not been made as to what their sustainable project will be, but he is guessing that the guys will be able to come up with plenty of ideas, which will go to a house vote. For full contest results, visit:


Natasha St. Pierre, Communication Officer (506) 458-7969