operations control center boards

Power Down Challenge

Power Down Challenge

Every year, the Power Down Challenge empowers members of the Penn community to reduce their energy consumption and deepen their understanding of energy issues. During the campaign, we and our partners join together for educational events and programs about energy consumption, reduction, and innovation. Each year, the campaign culminates in a collaborative, 24-hour, campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge. The percentage reduction is converted into a monetary donation to the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF), helping to fund undergraduate research grants in the energy and sustainability fields.

During the 2016 Power Down Challenge, we saved 220,640 kWh in 24 hours in our first ever single-day Energy Reduction Challenge. In 2017, we saved even more, reducing our consumption by 11.4%, or 282,350 kWh in the 24-hour period. That's equivalent to 198 metric tons of CO2 emissions, taking 42 cars off the road, or planting 5,143 trees.

The 2018 Energy Reduction Challenge was canceled due to an unexpected spring snowstorm and campus shutdown. The Penn Sustainability Office determined that a grant equal to the average of the most recent Energy Reduction Challenges would be provided to CURF. Thus, in 2018, $7,000 was donated to CURF for faculty-sponsored undergraduate research opportunities.

We look forward to the 2019 Power Down Challenge, when we again have an opportunity to demonstrate the ability of our campus community to conserve energy.


Join the Challenge

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2018 Power Down Challenge. Here's how we helped reduce energy in March 2018:

  1. Participated in Power Down "Happenings"
  2. Shared Power Down Tips
  3. Shared infographics (below) to educate the Penn community about energy consumption on campus
  4. Developed projects for Climate Action Grants
  5. Offered grants for Power Down events: We offered $150 grants for students and $200 grants for schools, centers, and offices


Energy Consumption at Penn: Infographics


Check out these energy- and sustainability- related events from the 2018 Power Down Challenge. 

When the clock strikes midnight on March 21st, join the entire Penn community and participate in in the campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge.