A power plug in the grass to represent energy efficiency

How to Be Energy Efficient in College

Being energy efficient is something usually discussed by homeowners, but college students in dorm rooms can also practice energy efficiency. While you likely won’t be paying any utlity bills while living in a dorm room, energy efficiency is still a healthy and rewarding practice for those who are mindful of the environment and their impact on it.

Less Washing

Energy efficiency is all about making the most of the energy that you need to use. One simple way to do this is to only wash dishes or laundry when you have a full load. Rather than washing several smaller loads, students can save time and energy by doing all the work at once and waiting until they have a larger load to wash.

Air Control

Cracking your window when it’s cool outside is not only nice and comfortable, but it’s also another energy-saver. Heating and air conditioning make up for most of the energy you’ll consume, so cutting down on that will make a big difference.

Switch the Bulbs

Replacing your incandescent bulbs is a simple and common measure people take to increase their energy efficiency. Compact fluorescent light bulbs require roughly 2/3 the amount of energy that incandescent bulbs need, so making the change can significantly cut your energy use, even if you only have a desk lamp. Going without lights during the daytime is also another strategy for increasing efficiency. If your dorm room allows a lot of natural light in, odds are you won’t need to use much energy to keep your space well lit.


Unplugging items you aren’t using is another way to ensure that you aren’t wasting energy. Many chargers for electronic devices will pull power from the outlet even if they aren’t connected to anything. Unplugging these cords when they aren’t in use is a huge step towards energy efficiency. Investing in a power strip with an off switch is a simple way to do this. By turning the power strip off, you can ensure that no unnecessary power is used while you are away or just not using your device.

Drive Less

The final measure you can take to increase your energy efficiency is to cutout unnecessary traveling in cars or on busses. Unless you have to go off-campus, you can likely travel where you need to go by foot or bike, which will reduce unnecessary waste and emissions. Can you think of any more ideas to stay energy efficient while you’re away at school?

Last Updated: February 05, 2016