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Student Switch Off

Get involved, take action and contribute towards sustainability with Student Switch Off!

Back for 2023/24, Student Switch Off is a sustainability campaign which supports and encourages students to live sustainably, with a specific focus on saving energy and water, as well as recycling and reducing waste.

What sustainable action do you pledge to do this year?
Take 2 mins to make a pledge and be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher. 

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Sustainability at York

YorEnergy Competition

Save Energy, Reduce Carbon, Win Prizes!

Get ready to engage in friendly inter-college accommodation rivalry, learn energy-saving tips and tricks, and earn recognition for your college’s commitment to sustainability. Be an active part of a movement that's not only about reducing energy consumption but also creating a sustainable future for our campus.

This exciting competition puts colleges against each other in a battle to see who can save the most energy. Throughout the year, there will be quizzes, regular competitions and the chance to further your knowledge through free training and online resources. 

As well as taking personal action to reduce your carbon footprint, you will also be helping your college win the overall competition, with the most sustainable residence getting a prize at the end of the academic year.

SOS-UK - University of York

College Leaderboard

This leaderboard takes into account student engagement AND energy data for the months October to November 2023. According to Student Switch Off data analysis, average energy consumption is down 1.4% compared to last year.

College ranking College
1st place Halifax
2nd place Wentworth
3rd place Alcuin
4th place James
5th place David Kato
6th place Anne Lister
7th place Constantine
8th place Goodricke
9th place Vanbrugh
10th place Derwent
11th place Langwith

Tips on how to reduce your energy consumption


  • Switch off the lights when you do not need them
  • Do your laundry at 30 degrees
  • Do not overfill your kettle - boil what you need
  • Put a lid on pans when cooking if possible
  • Make sure the windows are closed if the heating is on
  • Only print when it’s absolutely essential
  • Make sure you print and copy double-sided
  • Use stairs if you can, leave the lift for those who need it

How can you make a wider contribution?

  • Be a Student Switch Off ambassador for your college; open to both on and off-campus students. You'll be able to sign up to sustainability training, learn how you can make a difference while living in student accommodation, what everyday actions you can take, and how you can use these skills in the future.
  • Be constructive – if you see that fellow residents are being wasteful with energy or not recycling, remind them about the competition and suggest ideas for improvement.
  • If you run any of your college's social media, try and share sustainability content.
  • Build sustainability into your daily activities so it becomes the norm within your accommodation.

Whether you're living on or off-campus, you can find more energy saving tips for your accommodation on the SOS-UK website:

Energy saving tips

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Sustainability at York