Empowered one part of $25.4 million campus energy project

By Kayla Pickrell

Energy conservation just got easier with the launch of the Office of Sustainability’s Empowered project, featuring touch-screen kiosks located around campus.

The kiosks allow one to view the amount of energy and tons of carbon being used to fuel all of campus or even a specific building.

“We are trying to save money, all while inspiring students to observe the culture of conservation,” said Shane Tedder, UK’s sustainability coordinator.

Empowered is one part of a $25.4 million campus energy saving project. On Friday, there will be six kiosks around campus that use real-time feedback to show campus energy impact.

The kiosks up now are in the President’s Office and Agricultural Science Center North. Four others will be installed on

Friday, at the Chemistry-Physics Building, F. Paul Anderson Tower, Student Center and Davis Marksbury Building.

“The two main goals for Empowered are to elevate energy awareness and inspire students and faculty to participate,” Tedder said.

Empowered can be accessed as a website, a mobile site and a touch-screen kiosk. This gives students the ability to access the project from anywhere.

“Empowered is a solid step to a commitment of a culture of sustainability,” Tedder said.

It launched last week with a total of 25 buildings included in the website. Empowered is planning to have all 87 buildings up soon.

“I am excited to see how Empowered will allow the campus community to learn how their individual actions affect the energy use at this university,” Micah Fielden, student body president, told the Kernel. “Empowered will allow us to educate ourselves so that we may become better at protecting our resources.”

There is also an option to become directly involved by signing up for EmpoweredU.

This program allows for students and faculty to log their energy use every day, with the possibility of receiving points.

After a certain amount of points, one is then entered into a monthly drawing for prizes.

You can also find out how much energy your room uses each day compared to the rates of average offices and dorms.

President Eli Capilouto said in an email to the Kernel that UK is the only university to do this on “such a broad level, serving such a large community.”

“Through the deployment of these kiosks and the launch of the Empowered website, UK will be the model by which other campus programs around the country are measured,” Capilouto said.

This article has been edited with the following correction: Empowered is part of the $25.4 million campaign.