Energy contest kicks off at KU

LAWRENCE — KU's Center for Sustainability kicks off its Lights Out! energy-saving contest on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The contest is a competition among the occupants of three buildings on campus to see who can save the most energy over a 12-week period. The buildings and schools/colleges involved are:

• Bailey Hall, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
• Green Hall, School of Law
• Summerfield Hall, School of Business

The program will kick off with a drive to get as many students, faculty and staff from the three buildings to take a personal pledge to save energy in their building. Those who do will be eligible for prize drawings throughout the duration of the competition, which is co-sponsored by Energy Solutions Professionals of Overland Park.

Each building’s energy savings will be judged against the amount of energy the building used last year during the same time period. At the end of the competition, the building that makes the greatest improvement wins a grand prize of a barbeque lunch for all the participants from their building.

ESP has been holding training sessions with the various departments in the buildings to prep them with ideas for ways to save energy. Items like lights, computers, printers and other office equipment are prime candidates for being turned off when not in use. Additionally, the buildings will have 13-watt CFL bulbs available to them so they can replace their existing incandescent bulbs. A CFL is around six times more efficient.

“We see this as a fun way to save money while reducing our resource use and greenhouse gas emissions,“ said Jeff Severin, director, Center for Sustainability. “And although the competition is just 12 weeks, it will help students, faculty, and staff form habits that will help them continue to reduce their impacts.”

The contest runs through April 26. More information about Lights Out! can be found online.