This month, Indiana University saved enough electricity to power 243 homes for a month and enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The effort was a part of a national energy savings challenge called the Campus Conservation Nationals. In the challenge, the academic buildings, dormitories, and sorority houses of over 100 universities competed to conserve the most energy and water at their school.
IU has been holding its own energy challenge for 7 years, but this was the first time it joined the national effort. IU Sustainability Director Bill Brown says the university performed the best in the amount of water it saved.
“The whole national competition saved 1.5 million gallons of water and we saved over half of that at IU,” he says.
Duke Energy spokesperson Lew Middleton says the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ordered utility companies to help their customer save 2 percent of their energy over a ten-year period. Middleton says the energy challenge helps Duke and its customers meet that goal.
“We believe that the cleanest most efficient power plant that you can build is actually one that you don’t have to build,” he says.
IU says it saved 243,174 kilowatt hours of electricity and 822,000 gallons of water during the three-week competition. Brown says the program also helps students and faculty think about their energy use well after the competition is over.