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Mckenzie Beverage
IU Energy Challenge
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Last modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teter Quad, Sigma Alpha Mu win 2009 IU Energy Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Earth Day 2009 saw the culmination of the Second Annual Indiana University Energy Challenge. Eighteen Greek houses participated in this year's challenge in addition to the 10 residence halls that competed last year. The winners: Sigma Alpha Mu for the Greek houses and Teter Quad for the dorms.

The four-week-long challenge encouraged students to compete to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of the average per capita electricity and water consumption over three years. It was a collaborative effort among the Office of Sustainability, Greeks Go Green, Residential Programs and Services, Residence Halls Association, the School of Informatics and IU Physical Plant Utilities.

Final residence hall standings

IU Dean of Students Richard McKaig stood in the sun-filled expanse of Dunn Meadow on Earth Day to announce the winners and the impressive savings. The 18 Greek houses that participated saved a total of 30,975 kilowatts of electricity and 509,475 gallons of water. Their efforts attributed to 48,197 pounds of avoided CO2 emissions and an estimated utility cost savings of $5,000.

"The energy challenge has definitely showed the house how valuable saving our resources really can be," said Aaron Slovin, Sigma Alpha Mu's eco-rep. "This will be something that our house will be eagerly involved in for the years to come."

The 10 residence halls combined saved a total of 709,211 kilowatts of electricity, a 59 percent increase over last year, and 1,120,813 gallons of water, an 83 percent increase over last year. Approximately 1,103,532 pounds of avoided CO2 emissions and an estimated $42,000 in avoided utility costs resulted from this conservation effort.

Greek house final standings

Together, the dorms and Greek houses contributed to an avoided 1,150,729 pounds of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 96 cars off the road for an entire year. McKaig told the gathered crowd, "This is a fine example of how Indiana University students can make a difference."

"I can't think of a more effective way to demonstrate that individual behavior produces results, and what results!" added Mckenzie Beverage, coordinator of the Energy Challenge. "This challenge proves that working together toward a common goal, in this case conservation, is effective and attainable. I am thoroughly impressed by the enthusiasm and vigor the students have shown over the past four weeks and I look forward to watching the challenge evolve in the future."

Michael Hamburger, co-chair of the former Task Force on Campus Sustainability, exclaimed, "Awesome! The IU students who took part in the Energy Challenge have demonstrated in a remarkable way how the accumulation of minute actions by many individuals can make a dramatic impact on the world."

Lucy Wehking, president of Greeks Go Green, said, "After seeing the results from this year's Energy Challenge, I am so excited and hopeful for the years to come. The Greek community really got into the challenge, and I can tell that this challenge is the first of many."

Helene DeLone, director of environmental affairs at Teter, said, "I am really proud of IU students and faculty during this challenge. Though I am excited my residence hall won the challenge, what's more important is the campus-wide participation in this well-planned and very successful event."

Sigma Alpha Mu received a $900 cash prize raised by Greek Energy Challenge participants. Teter was awarded funds for the installation of a high-visibility energy conservation project in the amount of $4,500. Contributions from the Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President, Residential Programs and Services, IU Physical Plant, and TRANE helped make this award possible.

The project was supported by the Office of Sustainability, the former Task Force on Campus Sustainability. More information about the contest, final results and tips on how to conserve energy and water can be found at http://energychallenge.indiana.edu. More information about the IU sustainability initiative can be found at http://www.indiana.edu/~sustain/.