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Emilie Rex
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Friday, November 2, 2012

At the halfway point, fall 2012 IU Energy Challenge is too close to call

Nov. 2, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Fall 2012 Indiana University Energy Challenge at IU Bloomington is at the mid-point, and the competition is tight among the buildings in each of the six categories, many leading by only a narrow margin.

students signing posters

Students sign a pledge to conserve energy during an IU Office of Sustainability energy fair.

Because the campus is now fully metered, registration was open to all campus buildings. This eighth running of the challenge has more participants than ever with a registration increase of approximately 33 percent, for a total of 82 buildings. Such growth has required Energy Challenge organizers to split the buildings into six categories: large academic buildings, academic houses, sorority houses, fraternity houses, residence halls and apartment complexes.

"The marvelous and quite remarkable consequence of this, our eighth energy challenge, is that essentially all of our undergraduates, including our seniors who arrived nearly four years ago, have experienced an energy challenge in each of their semesters at IU," said Ben Brabson, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics. "Through this process they have come to understand that Indiana University is fully engaged in the future health of the Earth and its atmosphere.

Research demonstrates that climate change is very much under way," Brabson said. "Our students are very much aware of this. By becoming an energy- and water-efficient place, Indiana University demonstrates its willingness to join its students in coming to grips with this extraordinary problem."

Although the challenge is only at the halfway point, the collaborative effort to save energy and water is already making a difference. In the apartment housing division, Campus View holds first, while Third & Union and Redbud are right behind. Forest Quad holds first place among the residence halls, while Collins and Read are close behind in second and third.

Leading the large academic building category in combined energy and water savings is the School of Informatics. Following in a close second and third are Jordan Hall and Myers Hall, respectively. The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Student Support Services house leads the academic houses division, and behind it is Student Legal Services and Military Science.

The Greek Interfraternity Houses have Sigma Alpha Mu as the clear leader, with Alpha Epsilon Pi in second place. While Delta Gamma is in first place of the Green PanHellenic buildings, it leads narrowly in front of Alpha Omicron and Alpha Delta Pi.

"Every single moment, whether conscious or not, we're consuming energy. We're accustomed to a degree of comfort, whether it be the amount a room be lit or kept within a narrow temperature range," said Carolyn Raider, utilities and conservation intern at the Office of Sustainability. "We often don't realize the significant role energy plays within our lives until we lose it during a power outage. The Energy Challenge brings that awareness back to the campus without the blackout. The vast savings we've seen demonstrate how influential it has been in evoking awareness and behavior change in students and staff alike."

The IU Energy Challenge will end Nov. 12, and an award ceremony will take place at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the lobby of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

For more information about the competition, graphics displaying emerging results and tips for conserving energy and water, visit the IU Energy Challenge website.