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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2008

IU residence halls battle it out for energy conservation

April 9, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- At its half-way point, students at IU's Briscoe and Eigenmann dorms are battling it out for first place in IU's Energy Challenge competition.

For the past two weeks students at Briscoe and Eigenmann, along with eight other Indiana University Bloomington residence halls, have been participating in the campus's first IU Energy Challenge, a dormitory energy and water conservation competition. Combining student residential life, graduate research and campus operations, the competition integrates numerous aspects of campus life to promote greater environmental sustainability on campus.

Energy Challenge

The landmark dorm competition is conveyed through an innovative Web site ( developed by informatics graduate student David Roedl. At the competition's midpoint, students in the 10 participating dorms have conserved an estimated 239,845 KWh of electricity and 587,548 gallons of water compared to their three-year average consumption. The electricity savings alone is equivalent to the power needed to burn 400,000 60-watt light bulbs for one hour.

Additionally, the students' conservation efforts to date have avoided approximately 475,852 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy and water production, and distribution, which is equivalent to taking 40 passenger cars off the road for one year.

The dormitory that shows the greatest combined reduction in energy and water use will receive a grand prize of $500 plus a celebratory cookout the weekend before final exams. The second-place dorm will receive $250, with support provided by the Residence Halls Association, IU Physical Plant and the Office of the Provost. Currently Briscoe (first place) and Eigenmann (second place) are leading the competition with combined electricity and water reductions of 37 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

The IU Energy Challenge ( is a collaborative effort among the Residence Halls Association, the School of Informatics, IU Physical Plant Utilities and the IU Sustainability Task Force. The competition will run through April 17 and will culminate in an award celebration during Earth Week.