Skidmore College to Participate in Campus Conservation Nationals 2012 contest: Students will compete to reduce energy consumption

Posted by Julia Leef

The College will participate in this year's Campus Conservation Nationals, a nationwide electricity and water use reduction competition.

The competition was created by The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council through its Students Program and in partnership with Lucid, Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation.

Between Feb. 13 and March 5, students from more than 100 universities and colleges across the country will compete to achieve the greatest reductions in their residence halls.

Skidmore Unplugged aims to inspire behavior change toward an energy conscious lifestyle. The eight on-campus dormitories will compete with each other for the largest percent reduction in energy consumption. In the 2011 competition, the residents of the winning Wiecking dorm reduced their total energy consumption by 4 percent, a nearly a third of the total 3200 kilowatts per hours that the campus saved, enough to power six residential homes for one month.

"Sustainable Skidmore is extremely excited to expand our efforts to reduce energy consumption on campus and promote behavior changes that can be carried with students far beyond the Skidmore College community," said Tessa Leverone '12, sustainability representative program manager. "Skidmore Unplugged and the Campus Conservation Nationals demonstrate how small actions by many people are both manageable and can make a big a difference."

This year, in addition to the dorm wide competition, the College will compete against Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Colgate College and Hamilton College in the New York Negawatt Challenge. The electricity savings from all the participants will contribute to the national challenge goal of one gigawatt-hour, or enough electricity to power 40,000 televisions for five hours every day for one year.

Using Lucid's Building Dashboard, participating schools will be able to instantly compare performances, share strategies and track standings among the leading schools and buildings. Sponsors for the event include the United Technologies Corp, Sloan, Sterling Planet and Constellation Energy.

S-reps will provide information on both the campus and national competitions in the Atrium of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. They will collaborate with peer health educators to host several events promoting electricity savings, such as the "Do It In the Dark" theme for the kickoff for the event, chosen because of its proximity to Valentine's Day.

"Campus Conservation Nationals encourages students to recognize the significant impact that sustainable behaviors can have on a campus and in a community," said Pat Lane, USGBC Students program leader at the Center for Green Schools. "This will be the largest national competition of its kind and will have a far reaching impact showing students that a collective effort, along with a desire to better the built environment, can lead to positive and lasting change."

"We think that feedback on electricity and water consumption, combined with competitive spirit and incentives, can significantly reduce resource usage in campus buildings," said Andrew deCoriolis, director of public programs at Lucid. "We hope that this program serves as a model for other universities to become more aware of how they are using their buildings."

To learn more about the competition, join the network or follow leading schools, visit www.CompeteToReduce.org.

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