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Emory's month-long energy competition encourages engagement

Sorority Village Lodge B won the residential category this year's energy competition, citing a 29 percent decrease in energy usage. The annual contest aims to create a culture of sustainability on campus.

Again this year, students, faculty and staff put their best foot forward and worked together to reduce Emory’s overall energy use. The Office of Sustainability Initiative’s annual month-long energy competition aimed to reduce each building’s energy use compared to October 2015 levels.

This October, the Emory community saved 274,945 kilowatts per hour — enough energy to power 25 homes for a year — across campus.

“The month-long energy competition is a great way for students, faculty and staff to get involved in Emory’s sustainability efforts,” says Office of Sustainability Initiatives Director Ciannat Howett. “As a part of our vision, we hope to create a culture of sustainability on campus that inspires students, faculty and staff to actively reduce their individual and Emory’s collective energy consumption. Our energy competition encourages energy-conscious behaviors that many choose to continue after the month ends.” 

Each year, the buildings that have the greatest energy savings are awarded a $1,000 prize to go toward enhancing the sustainability of the winning building. In the past, participants have used the funds to purchase energy-efficient appliances, motion sensor lights, energy-free community building features and much more.

The 2016 energy competition winners are:

  • Residential category: Sorority Village Lodge B with a 29 percent decrease
  • Administrative/classroom/other category: Rich Building with a 15 percent decrease
  • Research/clinic category: Whitehead Biomedical Research Building with a 6 percent decrease.

By 2015, Emory successfully reduced campus energy use by 27.2 percent per square foot from a 2005 baseline, surpassing the goal of 25 percent reduction. By 2025, Emory University aims to reduce campus energy use per square foot by 50 percent and total energy use by 25 percent from a 2015 baseline.

“We’re always amazed by the support and commitment we receive from the Emory community,” Howett says. “We achieved the 2015 campus energy goal early because of students, faculty and staff, and we are excited to work together to achieve our 2025 goal.”

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