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Archive for Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Statehouse Live: Manhattan, K-State down Lawrence, KU in energy efficiency contest

October 25, 2011, 1:27 p.m. Updated October 25, 2011, 5:04 p.m.

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— The city of Manhattan and Kansas State University teamed up to win a $100,000 prize by defeating the city of Lawrence and Kansas University in an energy efficiency challenge.

The Lawrence-KU contingent, however, didn’t walk away empty handed; they won a basketball autographed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

And Douglas County posted a victory as Baldwin City won its regional for $100,000.

The awards were announced in the Take Charge Challenge, a statewide energy-savings contest that involved more than 275,000 Kansans from 16 communities.

Residents and businesses competed to see who could save the most energy. The competition was based on three measurements: energy efficiency audits and completed improvements; switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and programmable thermostats; and community involvement and public education.

Manhattan and Lawrence were paired off in the “university” category.

Lawrence actually saved the most energy, which is why it won the basketball. But based on a per-capita measurement, Manhattan was declared the winner and received the $100,000 check.

Former Manhattan mayor Bruce Snead said they kicked off the challenge Feb. 14 at Bramlage Coliseum before the KU-Kansas State basketball game. K-State won that game, and Snead said that momentum carried forward.

“It really energized us,” he said.

But Snead also congratulated Lawrence for doing a great job.

The Lawrence contingent said the friendly competition was an excellent way to promote energy efficiency.

“This was a great program to get energy conservation front and center,” said Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell.

Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator for Lawrence and Douglas County, said, “This was phenomenal for our community.” She said there were 463 energy audits done in Lawrence, which led to 81 completed projects.

“These people are saving on their utility bills today,” she said.

Horn congratulated Manhattan and K-State, saying their creation of EcoKat, an environmentally friendly mascot, was “well played.”

Baldwin City Mayor Ken Wagner was beaming after receiving a $100,000 check for that city’s win. Baldwin City was in the same region as Paola, Gardner and Ottawa.

“This was great community involvement,” he said. He said the contest, which ran from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, came along just as Baldwin City had started some energy efficiency initiatives. He said the award will be used for various energy efficiency projects in town.

Colby and Fort Scott also were regional winners.

The Take Charge Challenge was coordinated by the Climate and Energy Project and Kansas Energy Office. The award money was provided by federal stimulus dollars.

Comments

Curtis Lange 3 years, 3 months ago

And not a care was given. #firstworldproblems

Michael Sizemore 3 years, 3 months ago

"a basketball signed by brownback"?! Seriously - WTF? I guess we did "lose" (by saving the most energy...?) but brownback - seriously? let's see - stick in the eye, kick in the groin, basketball signed by brownback...tough choice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

It wasn't a waste of money. It encouraged a lot of energy-saving efforts, and the grant money that Manhattan will get will also be used to increase energy efficiency in that city.

But the way the contest was set up, there was absolutely no way to accurately gauge which city was actually more "eco-proactive." But I suspect that Manhattan will benefit more from the encouragement of this "victory" than Lawrence would have, given that Lawrence has been ahead of Manhattan in that respect for a long time.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Kinda like the Mope in Chief yakking about how many billion jobs that he's saved, created or supported.

CeeDub 3 years, 3 months ago

@KRichards: Wasn't Lawrence/KU ahead way after EcoKat was debuted? Do you have specific evidence of cheating, or are your comments just due to sour grapes because of this contest and since the 'Cats stomped the 'Hawks in football this past weekend?

Phillbert 3 years, 3 months ago

"Right around the time national news broke of K-State’s environmentally friendly mascot EcoKat, the number of light bulb changes recorded in Manhattan jumped from 13,000 to 28,000 in about a week. ...

"A large number of switches were made under the names of local and national celebrities, such as Bill Self and Bill Snyder. Also, numbers in the hundreds were being recorded by single individuals with K-State email addresses, which indicated they might be students."

classclown 3 years, 3 months ago

Phillbert (anonymous) replies…

"Right around the time national news broke of K-State’s environmentally friendly mascot EcoKat, the number of light bulb changes recorded in Manhattan jumped from 13,000 to 28,000 in about a week. ...

"A large number of switches were made under the names of local and national celebrities, such as Bill Self and Bill Snyder. Also, numbers in the hundreds were being recorded by single individuals with K-State email addresses, which indicated they might be students."

==================================================

So ACORN was involved?

squawkhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

WOW! KU can't beat KSU in anything these days. And I thought Lawrence was suppose to be the green city in the state. What's up with that?

NikeCortez 3 years, 3 months ago

KU sucks at everything. You need to FIRE your eco czar now and bring back Mangino.

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