May 24, 2010
NYSERDA Sponsored Energy Competition Between Kensington and Windsor Terrace Saves Residents Money While Changing Their Habits
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Sustainable Kensington Windsor Terrace completed a three month energy savings competition within two Brooklyn neighborhoods which was created to encourage participants to reduce their energy use through awareness and education.
Over the course of the competition, forty participants from the Kensington and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods used 6.6 % less electricity as compared to the same three month time period last year. The participants collectively saved approximately $600 over the three months for an estimated savings of $2,400 a year.
The Prospect Park Energy Competition created benchmarks in two categories: “smallest footprint” (lowest total electrical usage), and “biggest loser” (the greatest reduction from last year). Participants were provided with monthly reports telling them how much energy they used, how much they had reduced from last year, and how those numbers stacked up against their neighbors. They also received energy-saving tips to help reduce their electricity consumption.
“This competition shows that a little awareness can make a huge difference in the way people use energy. If we can expand the progress made in these two neighborhoods to the rest of the City and the rest of the State, we would save money while reducing our energy use and our impact on the environment,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA.
Along with the energy-use reports, participants we’re given ideas and tips to improve the energy performance of their home. Competition participants interviewed said, “We turn off the lights when we leave a room and unplug everything when we go out of town for a few days,” Another commented, “We value the warm community we've found in Windsor Terrace, so we live in a teeny apartment here instead of getting something bigger in a less expensive neighborhood, which results in a lower energy bill.”
The two winning households were Elisabeth Ruccell for smallest footprint and Zoya Baker and Julien Koetsch for biggest loser. They achieved reductions by turning off lights, shutting off multiple appliances at once with a power strip, reduced the number of computers in use, and relied on live-music, friends, and books for entertainment rather than power-hungry sources like television and radio.
“Jules and I were happy to join the KWT Energy Competition as it was just the motivation we needed to make some changes in our energy use habits.” said Zoya Baker. “A general rule of thumb was one bulb per person in the house. We quickly adjusted to using natural light and now we greatly enjoy experiencing the light change throughout the day. This we certainly one of the hidden rewards of participating in this competition and living a lower impact lifestyle.”
NYSERDA intends to expand the pilot to include neighboring areas and other community based groups as part of an ongoing effort to engage the community on issues of energy and affordability. For more information about how you can be a part of future NYSERDA sponsored energy competitions, contact email@example.com.
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
518-862-1090 ext. 3544
Last Updated: 05/14/2013