Students who diligently turned off the lights and unplugged computers when they left their rooms helped UCF save nearly $50,000 in energy costs this semester.

UCF’s Kill-a-Watt Annual Energy Conservation Competition challenged students to reduce energy consumption in their residence halls for three months. Students learned helpful tips for reducing energy while competing for scholarships and other prizes.

This year’s competition resulted in savings of $48,825 — and enough energy to power 482 homes for a month. More than $146,000 in energy costs has been saved over the past five years of the competition.

The winning building this year was Nike 102, located in Academic Village. The residence hall had an energy savings of nearly 30 percent. Five residents of the winning building are eligible to win $750 scholarships.

The competition was sponsored by the Department of Sustainability & Energy Management and Housing and Residence Life.

This semester’s other sustainability initiatives included RecycleMania, a competition for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities on their campuses.

Over a 10-week period, UCF and 286 other schools reported trash and recycling data.

UCF collected 128, 596 pounds of recycled goods during the competition.

RecycleMania was led by UCF Dining Services, with support from UCF Recycles, the Student Government Association and Housing and Residence Life.

To learn more about Kill-a-Watt, click here. For more information about RecycleMania, click here.