Students living on campus this academic year are being urged to take part in the government-sponsored “Student Switch Off” campaign. The University of Sussex is one of the thirty-three universities across the UK that has signed up to the competition where students living in halls of residence are trying to be more energy- efficient.

Student Switch Off is a government-sponsored campaign aiming to encourage students to be more aware of the need to tackle climate change by integrating simple energy-saving ideas into their daily lives. Last year the initiative saved more than 1,300 tonnes of CO2.

Dean Flight, promoting Student Switch Off at the freshers’ fair last week said: “The more people sign up, the more energy we save.” He added he refuses to drive in order to protect the environment.

Prizes will be awarded over the year to Sussex students who sign up to the energy-conscious group Eco-Power Rangers. They include a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, tickets for Students’ Union events and energy-saving gadgets. At the end of this academic year the hall of residence occupied by the most energy-efficient students will be thrown an end-of-year ‘eco-friendly’ party. The winning accommodation will be judged by the largest amount saved on its energy bills.

Five hundred posters will be put up in all the campus residences offering energy-saving tips and tricks, such as switching lights and appliances off when not in use; putting a lid on the pan when cooking; not over-filling the kettle; and putting on an extra layer of clothing rather than turning up the heating.

Patrick Pica, the University’s Energy and Environment Manager, said: “Many of our new students will be used to ‘thinking green’ but this competition should hopefully encourage them to spread the word to their peers.

“The steps are simple ones that anyone can follow and I’m really looking forward to seeing the results next summer.”

Sussex has seven halls of residence on campus, including Swanborough, Brighthelm, East Slope, Stanmer Court, Lewes Court, Park Houses and Park Village; as well as the King’s Road residence on Brighton seafront.

Students living on campus who would like to sign up for the campaign and have a change of winning one of the prizes should email ecopowerrangers@studentswitchoff.org or join the ‘University of Sussex Eco-Power Rangers’ Facebook group. You can also read more about the scheme at http://www.studentswitchoff.co.uk.

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