BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington Energy Challenge, a four-week competition to conserve energy and water, came to a close this week with the announcement of winning residence halls, academic buildings, and fraternity and sorority houses.
In its inaugural season in 2008, the challenge included only 10 residence halls. This spring, 19 residence halls and apartment housing complexes; 15 lab, classroom or administrative buildings; and 10 Greek houses were included, making it one of the largest energy challenges in the nation. The 44 buildings save 3,295,000 gallons of water and 38,400 kilowatt hours of electricity from their baseline usage.
That's enough water to fill 133,023 bathtubs and the equivalent in electricity consumption to taking 38.5 average homes offline during the competition.
"The Energy Challenge is a great way for our university to step up and instill in both our students and our colleagues the importance of energy conservation," said Kyle Newnum, assistant residence manager of Teter Residence Hall, the winning dorm. "Year after year we have been able to teach the importance of using our resources appropriately and not being so wasteful on our campus. Keeping the funds we would have used for power and water here at the institution can hopefully impact other areas to make our campus a more comfortable and beautiful place to study and work."
Each building competed to reduce the largest percentage of water and electricity usage in comparison to their baseline measurement. The IU Bloomington Utilities Information Group read the meters, and standings were updated twice a week.
Academic buildings were placed in three categories based on building type: administrative, classroom or laboratory buildings. Residential Programs and Services residence halls and apartment housing were placed in four categories based on location: northwest, northeast, central and southeast neighborhoods. Ten sorority and fraternity houses competed in a final category. This year's first-place winners are:
Administrative: Bryan Hall
Classroom: Jacobs East Studio
Laboratory: Myers Hall
Residence Halls and Apartment Housing
Northwest Neighborhood: Briscoe Quad
Northeast Neighborhood: Evermann Apartments
Central Neighborhood: Teter Quad
Southeast Neighborhood: Rose Avenue
Competition Winner: Theta Chi
Banner Winner: Delta Delta Delta
The 10 Greek houses competed for a winner-takes-all grand prize of $450, compiled through house contributions. Delta Delta Delta received first place in a banner competition, taking home a $50 prize.
"It was great to witness the excitement generated by this spring's Energy Challenge," said sustainability intern Jessica Stavole. "From the Greek banner competition to the new IU Energy Matters Mobile App, the efforts made to raise awareness showed that focusing on small behavior changes truly do make a difference."
Created in 2008, the Energy Challenge has saved 5.3 million kWh of electricity and nearly 13 million gallons of water to date. These electricity savings are equivalent to taking 5,300 homes offline during the competition, and the water savings are equivalent to nearly 13 Olympic swimming pools of water. As a result of this reduced consumption, the university has saved more than $2 million in utility costs and has avoided emitting more than 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
These figures represent only the savings recorded during the four weeks of each Energy Challenge and do not include savings that have accumulated as a result of behavioral changes that stick with occupants after the challenges end.