Green Cup

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 6 – March 2.

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:



Energy reduction

For every percentage point drop in energy use over the competition, your team will earn one point.

Take the Pledge

If 10% of your team takes the Sustainability Pledge, you will get a point, up to 10 points. If you took it last year, take it again!

Know the Green Theme Questions

Answer survey questions related to the weekly theme. The team with the most survey responses gets 3 points per week; 2nd place gets 2 points, 3rd place gets 1 point. BONUS: If you take all four surveys and answer all questions correctly, you will be entered into a raffle for an individual prize!

Attend the Kickoff Event (South 40 only)

If 10% of your ResCollege attends the ResCollege kickoff event, you will get 1 point. Up to 10 points as attendance increases.

Green Man Suit

Teams who wear the suit around campus get 1 point per week, up to 4 points total (must submit photo via Facebook). Suit must be checked out from Clara Steyer in Myers Hall. Email Clara at


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.