Blackout Results


Blackout 2013 was last Friday, and this year was bigger and better than ever with more students, more rooms and Winchester and Avenue campus all involved.

This years results show 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide were saved in just one night and £287 was saved in one night – just think that’s £78,500 in a year. Not bad considering this idea was initially suggested as a joke! This is money which could be spent in your faculty, on your degree, and yet to save it costs you only a few seconds to switch off the computer and monitor you’re using before you leave at the end of the day.

Josh Cox Ethical and Environmental Officer 2012-2013

Although it seems like Blackout was less successful than last year the figure shows that behaviour is changing and people are becoming much more aware of the need to switch off

Compared to 6% electricity saving last year the 2.1% decrease may sound somewhat disappointing considering the huge increase in scale of the project but this is actually the whole point of the project. If less energy was saved that means more people are aware and switching off on a regular basis. This was confirmed by the volunteers who helped out in both years of the blackout who said there felt like there had been definite improvements as they were auditing the rooms.

Professor Ian Williams said:

There were definite signs of staff making an effort with the worst areas being student communal areas. Potentially because no single student seems to be willing to take responsibility for an entire common learning space.

The volunteer response was mixed in respect to the Blackout. Everyone seemed to enjoy the event not least due to the free Dominos pizza, but many wish that this could be more than just a one night event and become a catalyst in changing people’s mentality and attitudes in the long term.

Joshua Davies was Ethical and Environmental Officer 2011-2012, and volunteered this year. He said:

I absolutely loved taking part again and it was great to take part as a volunteer this time, compared to last year where I was in the thick of it organising right up to the last minute!

I think the team created a fantastic event, both the Uni and the students, working side by side, the partnership approach really works well and I think its a good model for other events at Uni.

I would like to take this moment to thank Tom Farmer for what was a brilliant job and for taking over so well. It’s nice to see that the event continue on and hopefully it will grow in the years to come!

Last year, Blackout was Highly Commended at the Green Gown awards, and organisers are keen for this year’s efforts to be recognised too, thanks to the excellent collaboration from staff and students at the university.

Blackout 2013

2013 Southampton Blackout may now be over, but the organisers are already looking to the future. Sheffield recently had their own small scale Blackout and the NUS, Southampton City Council and EAUC (Environmental Association For Universities and Colleges) are also looking at rolling out the event nationwide. So despite the hoodies disappearing the message remains: Turn off electrical devices when you have finished them or at the end of the day, at university or at home.


Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    What a joke.

    I bet giving everyone pizza was more damaging to the environment than what they saved turning off seven computers…

    Sam Ling

    Given the marked improvement from plast year it’d be fair to assume that the blackout has led to significant behaviour changes already, which will be saving tonnes of carbon every day. So on that I’d say it was a huge success, and I’d wager impact on both the Uni and individual habits of those involved far outweighs the emissions of the creation of a few pizzas.

    If you’ve got any other ideas though on how we can work towards a more sustainable uni I’m sure E&E committee would welcome your input.

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