College of Science takes early lead in Energy Challenge

March 10, 2009

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In the first month of the College of Science vs. Main Building Energy Challenge, the scientists have taken the lead with an overall reduction in electricity use of 9.8% to the Main Building’s 6.7%. “We are excited and even more motivated now with our accomplishments during the first month," said Dean Gregory Crawford. “We are ahead by a field goal this month, next month a touchdown.”

However, the College of Science will have to work hard to maintain their lead because the Main Building is determined to catch up. Each department in the Main Building now has a Challenge Leader, and these Leaders met this morning for the first time to strategize about energy saving techniques. The discussion ranged from using more efficient computer power settings to auditing the number of refrigerators to shutting off the interior dome lights at night.

The College of Science, meanwhile, has begun auditing labs for energy efficiency, reminding professors to turn lights out when they leave classrooms, and even conducting building-wide inspections of Hurley and Hayes-Healy Halls to identify potential lighting, heating, and insulation improvements.

The competition continues for an entire year, so the Main Building and the College of Science will both be challenged to maintain interest and participation. The stakes are high, though: the two entities use a combined total of $1.3 million worth of electricity each year, resulting in over 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The Energy Challenge therefore has the potential to substantially reduce the University’s environmental footprint and to ease budgets in difficult economic times.

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