KU launches second annual energy-saving competition

Thu, 03/07/2013

Contact

Jeff Severin
Center for Sustainability
785-864-5804

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Sustainability has launched its second annual energy-saving competition, which begins today, March 7.

The contest, Lights Out–Round 2, is a competition among buildings on campus to see who can save the most electricity over a six-week period. This year the contenders will be 14 buildings primarily used by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, including last year’s winner, Bailey Hall.

“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. “Each year that we do this helps students, faculty, and staff form habits that will help them continue to reduce their impacts.”

Training for students, faculty and staff is currently under way in order to prepare them for the friendly battle and encourage as many of them as possible to take a personal pledge to save energy in their building. 227 individuals took the pledge in 2012.

Last year’s competition led to a combined energy savings of 14.3 percent and was equivalent to the electric use of 10.4 homes for a full year.

Each building’s energy savings will be judged against the amount of electricity the building used during the same time period in 2011. At the end of the competition, the building that makes the greatest improvement wins a traveling trophy. All of the buildings will also receive some portion of the actual dollars they save during their competition.

The contest runs through April 17, with the winner announced on Earth Day, April 22. More information about Lights Out! can be found online.

The contest is co-sponsored by Energy Solutions Professionals, Overland Park.



This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

How will you #exploreKU on your day off?
KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.


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