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Less Is More: Winners of Energy Wars Enjoy Their Victory

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

2016 Energy Wars competition

Old Main building staff celebrate victory in the 2016 Energy Wars competition designed to promote and reduce energy consumption on campus.

Utah State University saves energy with the Living Learning Community and Old Main buildings as the winners of Energy Wars. Throughout October and November, faculty and students took small steps to reduce energy such as taking the stairs, turning off lights and unplugging unused electronics.

At the end of the competition, the Living Learning Community had reduced its overall energy use by 18.5 percent and Old Main by 10.9 percent, making them the winners in the housing and academic divisions respectively. The event culminated in the award of a free breakfast in Old Main as well as the grand prize of $500 in the housing activities budget.

Energy Wars is an annual competition held by the USU Sustainability Council, Facilities and Housing to promote energy conservation on campus. After several years of running the competition in Housing, 2016 was the first year that academic buildings participated.

Throughout the months of October and November, Facilities posted energy consumption in Old Main, engineering, natural resources, fine arts visual and biology/natural resources live online. Each building competed against its own energy baseline and the building with the greatest reduction at the end of the competition won.

Housing found students actively involved in saving energy.

“For the past five years it has become an increasingly exciting time for residents who have come up with a variety of ways to lead their buildings to victory,” said Area Coordinator of Housing Gary Phillips. “During the midst of Energy Wars is the only time I’ve seen residents get excited because of a power outage.”

Old Main celebrated victory with a free breakfast and a trophy Dec. 6th in the dean’s conference room. Students, faculty and staff came together to recognize their success, as well as learn of new ways to help reduce energy consumption.

“It was a good opportunity to get people excited about saving energy,” said USU’s Green Office Coordinator Terra Pace. “I was really happy to see Old Main do so well and talk with those who had participated about how significant their everyday energy conservation actions can be.”

About the USU Sustainability Council
The Utah State University Sustainability Council formed in 2007 after the university became a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The Council seeks to reduce carbon emissions as well as conserve resources and enhance quality of life by promoting sustainability in USU’s academic and service missions.

About Energy Wars
It is a competition created through USU facilities and the Sustainability Council to promote campus wide conservation of energy between buildings in housing and academic buildings. 2016 is the fifth year housing has competed and the first that academic buildings have participated in the competition.

Contacts: Terra Pace, USU Green Office Coordinator,, 801-651-6894
Gary Philips, USU Housing Area Coordinator,, 435-797-0683
Jenn Hymas, College of Humanities and Social Sciences,, 435-797-566

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