2010 | Philadelphia, PA

Competitions are an effective way to get people motivated and to identify best practices. They work because people tend to be motivated by actionable steps, a deadline, and an incentive. At Penn, staff Eco-Reps (supported by Re:Vision through a multi-year consultancy) led their teams in identifying ways to save energy by simply turning off unnecessary equipment. In just 20 days, participants cut energy use by 52,688 kWh across five buildings, saving Penn $4,500 in those first 20 days.

The winning team was from the Franklin building, where energy use was cut by an impressive 20%. To get there, the team coalesced around the time-tested strategy of de-lamping. Because corridors and common areas were already considered too bright, removing 20% of the bulbs made sense for all the right reasons.