Green Cup is an annual 4-week competition to reduce energy use among Washington University’s South 40 Residential Colleges, on-campus apartments, fraternities, and School of Medicine residents. It takes place February 1 – March 5.

How To Win

The team in each league with the greatest number of points is the Green Cup Champion. The North Side, Fraternities, and School of Medicine leagues work collectively to reduce energy use by a certain percentage, and the South 40 teams compete using the following point system.

New this year! Teams have the opportunity to win up to 25 points by enrolling in the online Campus EcoChallenge, an innovative social and digital tool to take measurable action. Instructions to signup and join your team are available on the right sidebar.

How It Works

Energy usage is measured by utility-grade electricity meters that have been installed throughout campus, including the South 40, North Side, and fraternities. Meters are managed by engineers in the department of Facilities Planning and Management and measure real-time electrical energy usage in each building. This usage is reported back through the campus network to a central database, where a log of energy consumption is stored.

These energy meters measure electrical consumption by the whole building, including lights, plug loads (like computers), elevators and the air circulating fans, among other things. While it is important to be mindful of consumption of hot water, the natural gas used to heat it up will not be metered in this competition. The meters also measure electricity used by building systems, like the pumps and fans in the basement that keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In order to get a better snapshot of this non-student-driven energy consumption, we measure energy consumption over the winter break (when buildings are empty), coined an “always-on” baseline. This measurement is subtracted from all subsequent measurements to more accurately portray student energy consumption.

An “occupied” baseline is taken when students are living in the dorms and fraternities. This baseline and all subsequent measurements are normalized for building size (by square foot) and weather (by heating degree day) to better measure trends in student behavior and reduce the impact of external factors.

Energy consumption will be manually updated every Tuesday during the competition to provide feedback to the campus community. If you have any questions, email You can learn more about how to reduce energy consumption with our Less is More campaign.


Green Cup Logo

For South 40:
Green Cup Overview & Tips
Join the EcoChallenge

For School of Medicine (2018):
Green Cup Overview
WUSM Energy Reduction Challenge


Green Cup is made possible through incredible campus partnerships. Thank you to the following:

  • Residential Life
  • Congress of the South 40
  • Facilities Department
  • Student Involvement and Leadership Office
  • North Side Association