College students save 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of energy

The current generation of college students, who will soon become the newest batch of homeowners, have grown up around practices that lead to home energy efficiency, so the results of a recent U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) initiative should not be entirely surprising.

The three-month long USGBC Campus Conservation Nationals competition recently wrapped up, as students at 100 colleges and universities were able to generate energy savings equivalent to the annual energy use of 151 American homes.

"When you see a mobilization this large to actively reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability, it's clear that students are tired of waiting around for decision makers to address the issues at hand," the USGBC's Pat Lane said in a press release.

Social media proved to be an integral part of the competition, as students were able to post their accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter as a way to motivate individuals at other schools to keep up with the savings they were generating.

Many of the actions taken by students were related to their behaviors, such as minimizing the time they spent in the shower and turning off electronic devices when they were not in use. While these actions certainly go a long way in reducing energy output, more extensive changes can also be taken by American consumers who are interested in reducing their utility bills.

Homeowners have the option to install energy-efficient heating and insulation, reseal their doors and windows or even replace their current light bulbs with more energy-efficient CFL bulbs. Each homeowner is different – some only want to make incremental changes while others prefer overhauls of their properties. A simple consultation with a Washington, D.C. home inspector will ensure that the proper reforms are instituted in a cost-effective manner, so that homeowners ultimately end up generating long-term savings.