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University of Utah tops Mountain West schools in Green Power usage

Release Date: 04/19/2010
Contact Information: Laura Farris, EPA Region 8, 303-312-6388,

More than 50 Universities Battle it Out in EPA’s Green Power Challenge

(Denver, Colo. – April 19, 2010) EPA announced today that University of Utah was recognized as the 2009-2010 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Mountain West.

Spread across 26 athletic conferences nationwide, 54 universities competed in this year’s challenge. The challenge’s total annual green power usage of more than 1 billion kWh has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions of nearly 160,000 vehicles.

University of Utah beat its conference rivals by using nearly 63 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 23 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. University of Utah purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Sterling Planet and generates on-site renewable electricity, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’s electricity use.

EPA estimates that University of Utah’s use of nearly 63 million kWh of green power is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 5,000 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of nearly 9,000 passenger cars annually. The Mountain West’s collective green power purchase was more than 68 million kWh.

“A little college rivalry never hurt anyone,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “By harnessing the competitive nature of colleges to see which institution can use the most renewable energy, it’s a win-win for the environment and each of the participating schools.”

EPA ranks collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power used by their member schools. To be eligible, each school in the conference has to qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference has to collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. EPA also announced the kickoff of the 2010-2011 Green Power Challenge this week, which is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2011.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with traditional fossil fuel-based electricity use. The Partnership includes a diverse set of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions as well as a growing number of colleges and universities.

More information on EPA's College and University Green Power Challenge and the list of winners: see:

More information on Partner organizations in EPA’s Green Power Partnership: