Darkest Tower Challenge, March 3-20, 2017.

Darkest Tower Challenge

Hey Lister! This is the sustainability competition just for you. Every March, Lister towers face off against one another to reduce electricity, help the environment and claim the title in the Darkest Tower Challenge.

From March 3 to 20, 2017 save electricity by turning off lights, unused electronics, using a drying rack for your clothes, and more (check the webpage for details).

The tower that reduces the most wins the grand prize. Watch for standings updates throughout the challenge.

Join the challenge Get updates on Facebook

Big Impact

Last year's residents saved just shy of 19,000 kWh of electricity—reducing overall electricity consumption by 8.1 per cent compared a month before. This is a savings equivalent to:

  • Removing 2.8 passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year
  • Avoiding 13.1 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Carbon dioxide sequestered by 355 tree seedlings grown for ten years

Electricity-saving tips

No matter what time of year, there are some easy ways that you can reduce electricity use in your tower.


  1. Turn the lights off when you leave the room (bedroom, lounge, kitchen).
  2. Use energy-efficient LED or fluorescent light bulbs instead of halogen lamps that burn out faster.

Electronics and appliances

  1. Unplug cell phone chargers, laptop chargers and other electronics that draw “standby power” when not in use.
  2. Use a smart power strip—it turns everything plugged-in off automatically when devices are not in use.
  3. Use the communal fridge instead of a mini-fridge.
  4. Make sure your computer’s power saving settings are activated.
  5. Shut down your computer when not in use.
  6. Turn off your television or enjoy movie nights with your neighbours, cutting down on the number of individual electronics in use. Better yet: play board games or get outdoors and enjoy an "unplugged" evening.

The Building

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
  2. Wash your clothes in large loads on the cold water cycle; use a drying rack instead of the clothes dryer; and clean the lint filter to improve air circulation.

Case Study

The University of Alberta submits results from the Darkest Tower Challenge to the Campus Conservation Nationals. In 2015, a case study was published showcasing UAlberta's program and demonstrating to other schools how they could structure their own electricity conservation challenge.

More information

Maja Osmanagić, Project Planner