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14 KU buildings competing to reduce energy usage

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KU’s second annual energy-savings competition among campus buildings is under way, and things will surely be heating up as it continues through the next few weeks. I say that because I assume the buildings taking part won’t set their thermostats one notch below 76 degrees when temperatures pick up here soon.

KU’s “Lights Out” contest started last year, and it’s sponsored KU’s Center for Sustainability as well as the Overland Park firm Energy Solutions Professionals, which conducted a $25 million energy savings audit for KU starting in 2009.

Three buildings took part last year, and Bailey Hall took the title by cutting its energy use by 17.2 percent from the same period the year before.

This year’s contest started last week and runs through April 17, and participation is up to 14 buildings, mostly used by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, per a KU release. The winner will receive the rights to a traveling trophy, which in my imagination is shaped like a giant compact fluorescent light bulb, for the next year. The winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

The Center for Sustainability is training students, staff and faculty on how to reduce their energy usage, and some tips are available online.

So, in that spirit, after you send your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com for today, make sure to shut down your computer before you leave.

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