Tips to Win the SMU Energy Competition

  • Turn off lights when leaving any room, including common areas.
  • Use sunlight instead of artificial lights during the day. Sunlight also helps the body produce Vitamin D and improves your thinking process.
  • Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus light where needed.
  • Study in public area, such as a library or common room.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. CFLs reduce energy consumption by 75%, and they last longer.


  • Unplug battery chargers, power adapters and any other small appliances when not in use. Things like cell phone chargers and other adapters continue to draw electricity even when they are not in use.
  • Don’t keep refrigerators too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37-40°F for refrigerators.
  • If you are not using it, turn it off, be it lights, computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Turn off your computer when not in se, or next best configure your computer to hibernate. Hibernation uses much less energy than sleep mode, but it still returns to where you left off fairly quickly.
  • Turn off screen savers. They waste power by keeping your computer and monitor active.
  •  Turn off the TV in common areas when nobody is watching it. 


  • Turn off water when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. Leaving the water on can waste several gallons of water along with energy, especially if the water is hot.
  • Take shorter and colder showers to save energy and water. Reducing your daily shower time by 1 minute not only reduces energy, but saves about 1,000 gallons of water every year.
  • Wash full loads of laundry in cold water. Cold water doesn’t set the stains, prevents bright or dark colors from fading, prevents natural fibers from shrinking and saves energy. 


  • In the winter, close curtains or blinds during the night to keep the heat in. Open them during the day to take advantage of the sun’s light and warmth.
  • If you have control of your thermostat, then it should be set between 68-72°F in the winter and 74-78°F in the summer.
  • Keep your windows closed when he air-conditioning or heat is on. Opening windows when the air- conditioning or heat is on wastes immense amounts of energy per year.
  • During the day, open blinds in the winter to use solar gain to help heat the room. Close blinds in the summer to keep the solar heat out.
  • Walk through buildings and look for places where energy is being used when it isn’t needed. Report energy waste by emailing
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