CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Students Tops in Conservation Competition

Date: 05-15-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico residence hall students led the way this year in a national competition to conserve electricity and water.

The results of the 2014 Campus Conservation Nationals posted last week listed CSU, Chico with nine other schools as the leaders among 109 campuses participating in the United States and Canada.

For three weeks during the spring semester, more than 400 Shasta and Lassen Hall residents competed to reduce energy consumption compared to baseline energy use established earlier in the semester.

Not only did the students’ efforts place CSU, Chico in the top 10 nationally, but the amount of energy they reduced was the highest of any school in the competition.

“The students, mostly through changes in behavior, were able to conserve over 7,500 kilowatt hours in just three weeks–cutting electricity consumption in both buildings by nearly 20 percent as soon as the competition started–and then holding that reduction, with slight increases, for the duration,” said Fletcher Alexander, campus sustainability coordinator for CSU, Chico’s Institute for Sustainable Development. “This is a tremendous achievement by our students and shows their commitment to conservation.”

The other schools honored were Appalachian State University, Bard College, Berea College, Dickinson College, Louisiana State University, Loyola University Maryland, Portland State University, Wake Forest University and Western Carolina University.

The competition was hosted by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); Lucid, a California-based software company; the Alliance to Save Energy; and the National Wildlife Federation.

More than 265,000 students in all participated in the competition, now in its fourth year. “This tangible mobilization of hundreds of thousands of students reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainability and actively mitigating the effects of climate change shows that the next generation is ready for change and no longer willing to wait for decision makers to address the issues at hand,” said Hannah Debelius, students program manager for the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.

Details about the Campus Conservation Nationals are available here: http://competetoreduce.org/ccn/2014.html.

CSU, Chico’s participation in the national energy reduction competition was part of the second annual Wildcat Sustainability Showdown between Lassen and Shasta Halls. This year Lassen Hall won the competition with a reduction of 24 percent, taking the Green Cup trophy from last year’s winner, Shasta Hall. Shasta came in a very close second this year, reducing energy by over 23 percent.

The campus competition was coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Development in partnership with University Housing and Food Service and CSU, Chico’s chapter of the PowerSave Campus program.

Twenty students were recruited from each hall to become Eco Reps–sustainability leaders and peer educators within the residence halls. They were trained on energy efficiency and acted as principal motivators in the halls during the competition. Competition coordinators met with the Eco Reps weekly and hosted numerous events in the halls as part of the competition.