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Students Achieving Valuable Energy Savings (SAVES)

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SAVES is an inter-dormitory energy-saving competition that will be run in 484 dormitories at 17 Universities housing 25,157 students in five countries over the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16 (50,314 students in total over two years). The project will focus on students as a distinct group of consumers, many of whom will be living away from home for the first time and adopting new energy-usage habits. SAVES will provide quality engagement with students, enabling, empowering and motivating them to save energy – focusing specifically on the last stage of the ‘Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action’ framework. By developing student champions in each block of each dormitory, and by motivating the champions to encourage their peers to save energy, we will create a race between students in dormitories, each competing to save the most energy and win prizes. SAVES will tap into online student communities through social media, using engaging digital communications to raise awareness of how students can save energy in a fun way. SAVES will use smart meter data to run real-time energy challenges, inform students how much energy they are using, and encourage peer to peer learning.


  • 8% average reduction of electricity usage, compared to baseline year, across participating dormitories;
  • 4.23GWh electricity-savings (1,902CO2e / 363toe) achieved, compared to baseline year, across participating dormitories, over both academic years and 2.85GWh estimated energy savings (998tCO2e/year / 245 toe) from students carrying forward their energy-saving habits into private accommodation;
  • 3,773 students (15% of those in dormitories) living in participating dormitories recruited as energy champions each academic year. 7,547 students (30%) engage with the project each academic year;
  • Quantifiable behaviour change delivered in students, with 10% swings on target behaviours (e.g. students switching off the lights when not in use) between surveys. 90% of students state they have carried forward the energy-saving habits learnt in the project into private accommodation once they have left dormitories;
  • Project continues to expand on a self-funded basis, reaching 257,805 students in six European countries by Sept 2016.

Lessons learned

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Partners and coordinator

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National Union of Students of The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Neil Jennings
+44 208 288 0508


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In brief

01/04/2014 to 31/03/2017
Contract number: 

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