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Parade, Band Spark Beginning Of IU Energy Challenge

Several dozen Indiana University buildings are beginning a competition against themselves to save energy – a competition which began Wednesday with a parade.

A band tromped through IU’s Sample Gates, attempting to drum up interest in the University’s Energy Challenge, a competition between residence halls, Greek houses and academic buildings on campus.

“All of these buildings are competing against their own history of energy and water use,” said IU Sustainability Director Bill Brown.  “So for the past three years, we’ve monitored their energy and water use and they’re trying to beat their average. Basically, and the biggest loser wins.”

Brown said the competition is tracked twice a year, in order to constantly renew momentum in the project. But resident of some buildings, he said, have voluntarily begun to reuse their conservation plans, even after the competition ends.

“We have had some stories, from Greek houses, for example, where they saved so much during the Energy Challenge they said ‘well why don’t we do this year-round?’ and they put in occupancy sensors with some of their savings,” Brown said.  “And so now they are saving energy year-round based on some of the things they learned during the Energy Challenge.”

The competition runs through April 20, with meter readers making periodic checks at each location.

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