Green-thinking engineers at the University of Sheffield have been switching-off lights, computers and machinery in a bid to save money on energy bills in order to create new scholarships.
The University's Faculty of Engineering plunged their laboratories, workshops and offices into darkness in an innovative Energy Matters Switch-Off event aimed to encourage members of staff and students to save energy and reduce costs.
Turning off light switches, computer monitors and unplugging charges over the three days helped the Department reduce their average term time consumption by 12.2 per cent which equates to a saving of £1,500.
The money will be used to create three scholarships for students joining the University in September 2013 from under-represented backgrounds.
Jon Gregg, Graduate Intern for Reducing Carbon Footprint by Individual Behavioural Change, said: "We wanted to make people realise how much energy they could save by a few simple steps and show them the impact they could have on the Faculty through their actions.
"Turning the lights off in a corridor or stairwell in the daytime can save £147 annually and enough energy to keep on 1,020 light bulbs for 24 hours. If everyone was to do the same this would save enough energy to run all of the computers in the entire Faculty.
"It is fantastic that the money we saved through our Energy Matters Switch-Off will help kick start the careers of three budding engineers of the future. We will award the scholarships to students who focus on sustainability in their applications and who may go on to look to tackle future world sustainability issues with their engineering degree."
If everyone in the Faculty of Engineering made 10 simple changes to their energy use it would save £40,000 per year; enough to light 350,000 light bulbs.
Easy methods such as turning your computer monitor off overnight saves £39.40 annually whilst turning off an electrical heater for just 15 minutes every hour is enough to light 545 bulbs.
Malcolm Butler, Director of Operations for the Faculty of Engineering, said: "I was delighted to see how much we managed to reduce our energy usage. As an engineering faculty we often work on solving global problems but this shows we can also work locally to make our contribution to reducing the carbon footprint of the University."
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