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Congratulations to UCOP’s Cool Choices energy savers

If you work on the sixth or seventh floor of Franklin, you may have noticed fliers or heard people talking about Cool Choices, an online game developed as part of an ongoing research project by Priya Gandhi, a graduate student researcher at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment.

From Nov. 4 to Dec. 12, 31 players at UCOP signed up to play the game, which inspires participants to join teams and compete to save money and energy in their offices. Players could claim points for taking different actions, like turning off lights, adjusting computer power settings and riding public transportation.

Out of 24 active players, the winning team emerged with 304 “cool choices,” the most during the course of the game. Known as WAS Team, members included Dede Bruno, Candace Jones, Rick Kehret, Aymen Manai and Judy Thai. On her own, Thai earned 1,626 points, making her the individual winner overall. Thanks to everyone who participated.

The estimated savings from UCOP’s effort amounted to:

  • electricity savings sufficient to power an average California home for nearly eight months;
  • 11,292 gallons of water, enough drinking water for more than 15,000 people for one day; and
  • carbon dioxide emission reductions equivalent to taking one car off the road for one year or not burning five tons of coal.

These savings can multiply as you keep making cool choices in your own office!

Priya Gandhi is a UC Berkeley master’s student in building science. Her research interests include natural ventilation, climate resilient design, passive cooling, existing buildings and energy modeling. If you have any questions about the game, contact her at

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