Fall 2013 Energy Challenge scheduled at IU Bloomington

  • Sept. 23, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Students, faculty and staff across the Indiana University Bloomington campus will participate this semester in the ninth IU Energy Challenge to conserve electricity and water. 

The Fall 2013 Energy Challenge, which will take place Oct. 7 to Nov. 4, will involve 16 academic and administrative buildings along with 17 residential buildings and 14 Greek houses. For the first time, the four-week competition will use individual baselines coupled with weatherized data for each participating building to more accurately and fairly compare conservation efforts across campus. 

Shahzeen Attari, a professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs whose research focuses on human behavior and energy consumption, encouraged participants to use the Energy Challenge to examine their own motivations and capabilities.

"How far can IU citizens decrease their resource consumption without significantly impacting the quality of their life? Herein lies the challenge before us,” she said. “Independent of any top-down regulation, can we govern ourselves to use less water and energy and still be content? The energy challenge is designed to inform and motivate. Doing what you can is the first step. Let's see how far we can take it." 

Previous challenges have shown that focusing on seemingly effortless behaviors, such as dimming computer screens, turning off lights when leaving a room and fixing leaky faucets, can conserve a substantial amount of energy. To date, IU Bloomington savings from the campus-wide Energy Challenge have amounted to approximately 4 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 10 million gallons of water, saving the university more than $1.3 million. 

Indiana University's Physical Plant hopes to use its new electricity dashboard to provide more frequent and consistent feedback to participants throughout the competition. Competitors will be divided into categories by Residential Programs and Services neighborhoods, and administrative, classroom and lab buildings. First-place winners in each category will have water bottle refill stations installed in their buildings. 

During the Energy Challenge, students living in residential halls have the unique opportunity to participate in the Greenest Floor Challenge, which involves getting dorm rooms green-certified. The floors with the most certifications in each residential hall will be declared Greenest Floor Challenge winners. To certify your room or learn more about the competition, visit the Greenest Room Certification web page.

Results will be posted on the IU Energy Challenge website, which also features tips on how to conserve energy. To become involved in planning or organizing competition events, visit the "get involved" page or contact the appropriate building captain. Questions about the competition can be directed at iuec@indiana.edu, or visit the Office of Sustainability website.

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Media Contacts

Jessica Plassman

  • IU Office of Sustainability
  • Office 812-855-1822
  • jnplassm@indiana.edu