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Energy competition trades treats for light bulbs

Monday, February 13, 2012

LAWRENCE — Faculty and staff at the University of Kansas School of Business kicked off participation in the university's "Lights Out!" energy-saving contest by handing out green cookies and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in Summerfield Hall on Tuesday.

Mark Strand, assistant to the associate dean and chairman of the school's Green Team, went room-by-room to offer occupants new 13-watt CFLs and a cookie, in exchange for the standard incandescent bulbs in the building. An incandescent bulb gives off more than 90 percent of its energy as heat, not light. By comparison, a 13-watt CFL, while having the same light output as a 75-watt incandescent, is around six times more efficient.

While nearly all of the campus' general overhead lighting has been upgraded to be more efficient, there are still thousands of task lights and lamps on campus, many of which still use inefficient incandescent bulbs.

Strand estimates he gave out 65 CFLs, which will save 3055 watts.

The "Lights Out!" contest is a 12-week competition between the occupants of Bailey, Green and Summerfield halls to see who can make the greatest reduction in their energy use compared to the same time period last year. In addition to exchanging light bulbs, participants will seek to reduce energy consumption through turning off lights, equipment and appliances that are not in use. The building that saves the most energy will win a cookout for all students, faculty and staff.

The program is sponsored by the KU Center for Sustainability and Energy Solutions Professionals with the hopes of raising awareness across campus about everyday activities that people can engage in to save energy and help the environment. They hope to repeat the program across the campus to raise awareness about everyday habits and behaviors in which people can save energy costs and help the environment.

The Center for Sustainability is a campus department at the University of Kansas that promotes a culture of sustainability in order to protect natural ecosystems, create economic prosperity and treat all people with equality and respect. The Center works across campus to support sustainable practices in operations, education, research and campus life. Energy Solutions Professionals is a privately owned, Kansas-based, full-service energy solutions provider.

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