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Emilie Rex
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winners of IU Bloomington Spring Energy Challenge announced

April 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, IN. -- This week marked the end of the 2012 IU Spring Energy Challenge, with Lindley Hall, Ashton Residence Center, Teter Residence Center, Redbud Apartments, University Apartments East and Kappa Kappa Gamma all taking home first-place prizes.

The fifth annual Spring Energy Challenge was a three-week effort to reduce electricity and water consumption and was designed to foster behavioral changes in students, faculty and staff. This year's challenge engaged more than 20,000 occupants of 12 residence halls, four apartment buildings, 21 academic buildings and 24 Greek houses, encompassing over 7 million square feet of campus buildings.

Energy Challenge

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel, right, presents trophies and plaques to winners of the 2012 IU Spring Energy Challenge.

Print-Quality Photo

IU saved a total of 243,174 kilowatt hours of electricity and 822,174 gallons of water. This equates to the annual electricity use of more than 200 homes and 5.2 million 20-ounce bottles of water saved.

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel presented trophies and plaques to the Energy Challenge winners at noon today at the Sample Gates. Unique traveling trophies consist of recycled parts of valves, meters and other used components.

This year marked the first time IU's residence halls competed in Campus Conservation Nationals, which pitted IU against 100 other colleges and universities across the country. IU Bloomington had the largest water savings in the country.

"IU was by far the largest reducer in the water competition," said Campus Conservation Nationals coordinator Andrew deCoriolis. "In fact, IU accounted for more than half of the total nationwide water savings."

IU also made a tremendous impact in helping Campus Conservation Nationals reach its goal of saving one gigawatt-hour of electricity, contributing over 18 percent of this goal.

"We've had lots of practice," said IU Director of Sustainability Bill Brown. "Over the years we have learned about the importance of peer-to-peer education and influence in changing behaviors, and Residential Programs and Services has been active in helping to establish networks in the residence halls involving their resident assistants, EcoReps and hall captains. With new metering, the Utility Information Group has been able to steadily increase the number of buildings in the competition each time, and we have one of the largest competitions in the country twice a year."

With the residence halls and apartments participating in the national competition, winners were awarded for both electricity and water categories. Ashton Residence Center won the electricity competition by saving 16.4 percent compared to its baseline performance, and Teter Residence Center won the water competition, saving 21.5 percent. In the apartment category, University Apartments East took first prize in the electricity competition, saving 16.2 percent, and Redbud won the water competition, saving 0.1 percent. Residence halls and apartment buildings saved a collective 181,172 kilowatt hours of electricity and 795,269 gallons of water.

Lindley Hall claimed first place in the academic building combined water and electric category, saving 13.2 percent. Geology and Optometry came in second and third, saving 7.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. Academic buildings displayed a combined savings of 26,685 kilowatt hours and 22,500 gallons of water.

In the Greek house category, Kappa Kappa Gamma came out ahead of Delta Gamma and Phi Mu in an extremely close finish. The three buildings saved 14.21 percent, 14.18 percent and 13.32 percent, respectively. The Greeks' efforts saved 35,317 kilowatt hours and 5,500 gallons of water.

Redbud Apartments was removed from the electricity competition due to an anomaly in the building's electricity data that showed an improbably large increase in consumption. Efforts are being undertaken to track the source of the spike in use.

"It's amazing and rewarding to see the Energy Challenge consistently post such huge savings," said Nolan Hendon, IU Office of Sustainability utilities conservation intern. "I love seeing everyone engage in the competition time after time and seeing the huge impact on energy consumption that individual efforts add up to."

The purpose of the Energy Challenge is to instill conservation habits in participants. It rewards participants for making small behavior changes that, when performed collectively, can substantially decrease Indiana University's environmental impact.

Over the seven Energy Challenges to date, IU has saved 3,673,619 kilowatt hours of electricity and 7,378,873 gallons of water. When combined with the savings seen throughout the year as a result of behaviors learned during the challenges, IU has saved more than $1.2 million in utility bills and has avoided emitting more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

To learn more about sustainability-related programming and events, visit For more information about the 2012 Spring Energy Challenge and tips for conserving electricity and water, visit