Philadelphia Recap & Results

The Competition

Over a five-month period, student volunteers competed against one another to see who could complete the most energy assessments for local Philadelphia businesses. Sponsored by Penn State University, these free energy assessments consisted of an energy efficiency survey and cost saving recommendations.

The Result

Student volunteers helped 19 local businesses identify annual energy savings of $26,000, equivalent to powering 27 homes for a year. Along the way, these students earned prizes and recognition, including $1,700 in cash prizes.

participating businesses

kWh of energy savings

energy cost savings


average energy reduction

Participating Businesses

China Dragon
Chinese Noodle Factory
Chopstick Express
First Home Mortgage
Herban Quality Eats
Hummus Grill
Kai Japanese Cuisine
McGillin’s Olde Ale House
Moon and Arrow
Mugshots Coffeehouse

Tela’s Market and Kitchen
The Grey Lodge Pub
Trolley Car Cafe
Tswirl Crepe
Whitney’s Grocery Store
Wine and Design
Yummy Yummy

Business Breakdown

Food, Food, Food

Restaurants accounted for 85% of the participating businesses, the most of any sector.

Small Footprint

The average participating business had a building footprint of 2,300 sq. ft.

Big Savings

The average energy efficiency savings identified per business was 15% or $1,350 per year.

  • Replace T12 and 32W T8 bulbs with 25W T8 bulbs 84% 84%
  • Utilize power strips 53% 53%
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs 53% 53%
  • Install occupancy sensors in common areas 47% 47%
  • Install programmable thermostats 37% 37%

The Results Were Amazing

Over 23 different energy-efficiency recommendations were identified for participating businesses, including efficiency measures in lighting, plug load, building envelope, HVAC, water and recycling. These recommendations ranged from projects with an immediate payback period to projects with a two year payback. The top three most frequently recommended efficiency measures were applicable to 50% or more of businesses.

And let's hear it for the students...

1st Place

Jenna Hakun
Penn State University
11 assessments

2nd Place

Nicholas Wang
Temple University
7 assessments

3rd Place

Mahsa Safari
Penn State University
1 assessment

Made possible by: PennStatelogo


Green Impact Campaign (GIC) is on a mission to reduce the environmental impact of small business while better equipping the next generation of climate leaders. We provide university students across the country with cloud-based tools and training to go out and conduct free energy assessments for local, small businesses in their community. Small businesses receive the custom, actionable information they need to make their business more energy efficiency and profitable. While student volunteers receive professional skills through hands-on experience for future impact careers.

Kilowatt Smackdown is our regional competition series where we select one community, town, or city to focus on. We work closely with local universities and partner organizations in the community to host an impactful and exciting sustainability initiative.