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K-State Today

October 26, 2011

Green victory: Energy saving efforts help K-State, Manhattan win region's Take Charge! Challenge

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Through energy audits, house retrofits and light bulb changes, Kansas State University and the city of Manhattan won its competition against the University of Kansas and the city of Lawrence in the 2011 Take Charge! Challenge.

The competition, organized by the Climate and Energy Project and funded by the Kansas Corporation Commission, was a statewide energy savings contest involving more than 275,000 Kansans from 16 communities. Each region's winners -- Kansas State University and Manhattan, Baldwin City, Colby and Fort Scott -- received a $100,000 grant for an efficiency or renewable energy project.

Kansas State University and KU competed in the university region, working to save energy through several ways. The competition was measured and judged based on whole-house energy efficiency, lighting changes and community involvement from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30.

Combined, K-State and KU completed 576 Efficiency Kansas audits, 90 whole house retrofits, 71,265 bulbs switched, 3,266 programmable thermostats installed, 261 events and reached 57,954 residents.

The competition's leaders also encouraged communities to schedule energy audits, because each audit gave the community more points toward winning. The university's first family, Kirk and Noel Schulz, opened their on-campus residence to an energy audit March 1.

Statewide, 110.2 billion British thermal units of gas and electricity were saved, with an annual value of $2,341,025. This equates to 19,002 barrels of oil not imported, taking 3,300 cars off the road, or enough energy to power 985 Kansas homes for a year.