Cedar Apartments wins Bemidji State’s 2009 “Do It In The Dark” energy challenge

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Jan. 22, 2009) — During November of 2009, resident students in Bemidji State University’s Birch, Linden, Tamarack, Pine and Oak Halls and the Cedar Apartments participated in the “Do It In the Dark” challenge to see which hall could reduce its energy usage by the highest percentage over its October 2009 usage.

The second annual competition, sponsored by Bemidji State’s Students for the Environment club, encourages residence-hall students to do anything they can to reduce energy consumption. Students were asked to turn off lights when leaving a room, turn off and unplug electronics, such as computers, when not in use, and washing clothes in cold water and then drying them on a line. The winner was determined by comparing November energy usage to that from October, and calculating which hall reduced its usage by the highest amount for the month.

This year Cedar Apartments captured the “Do It In the Dark” trophy, which it can display for the remainder of the year, by reducing its November energy consumption by 10.3 percent as compared to its use in October. Average savings among the six participating halls was 7.7 percent, and in total the November energy bill for the halls was $913 lower than in October.

Cedar Apartments took the challenge trophy from Pine Hall, which won the inaugural competition in 2008 with a 10-percent energy reduction. For winning the contest, Bemidji State’s Office of Residential Life awarded Cedar hall $300 to purchase something “green” for its residents.

In February, Bemidji State will take part in the Minnesota Campus Energy Challenge, a similar energy-reduction competition among eight colleges and universities in Minnesota. Bemidji State will be competing against Bethel University, Carleton College, College of St. Scholastica, Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College, the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Campus Energy Challenge will compare total energy usage at the eight participating campuses for the month of February with its usage during Feb. 2009.

Last year, Bemidji State won the challenge by reducing its Feb. 2009 energy usage by 12 percent as compared to Feb. 2008.

For more information, please contact Erika Bailey-Johnson, Bemidji State University sustainability coordinator, at (218) 755-2560.