New program to provide free energy assessments to students living off campus

EUGENE, Ore. – (Oct. 22, 2012) – This fall, University of Oregon students will provide as many as 75 free energy assessments to students living off-campus through the Student and Community Outreach for Residential Efficiency ($CORE) program. The project aims to teach students easy ways to save money on their utility bills through a peer-to-peer education model.

Student energy auditors visit students living off-campus and provide assessments consisting of a home evaluation and learning what the residents are doing to reduce energy consumption. The energy auditors identify simple behavior changes that residents can implement to become more energy efficient and provide free energy conservation devices such as CFL’s, weather stripping, pipe insulation and energy-saving showerheads. If more than half of the tenants are present for the assessment, the household gets a free large pizza from Track Town, one of the program’s sponsors.

Another program sponsor, Focus the Nation, is the country’s leading clean energy youth empowerment organization. $CORE kicked off when two Focus members, James Walton and Weston Cooper, held the Sports and Sustainability Summit on the UO campus last spring. Their mission was twofold: use sports as a platform for advancing sustainability in the Oregon student population and offer a free service with the support of local businesses.

Jerry’s Home Improvement provides weatherizing products, EWEB provided a Partners in Education Grant, and the UO Office of Sustainability supported the project by institutionalizing it within the university. In addition, the Net Impact undergraduate chapter within the Lundquist College of Business has established $CORE as an experiential learning opportunity for students.

Steven Boone, one of the UO student energy auditors hired by the program says, “Students in houses around campus need a program like this to realize and understand their relation to the energy grid.”

The program’s goal is to complete 75 energy assessments at off-campus student houses before the end of fall term.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT:Aria Seligmann, UO media relations, 541-543-1482, arias@uoregon.edu

SOURCE:James Walton, $CORE Marketing Coordinator, 925.683.5850, jww@uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink capacity, and a radio studio with an ISDN phone line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.

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Program offers free student-to-student energy assessments