In case you missed it over the weekend, three SmartPower’s campaigns - My Gulf Action, America’s Greenest Campus and Western Mass Saves - made WellHome’s list of the 10 best online energy saving campaigns!
Here’s what WellHome had to say about each one:
My Gulf Action:
More than just reacting to the spill (stopping the flow of oil, cleaning up the spill, saving animals affected by the damage, etc.) the goal of My Gulf Action was to independently act to counterbalance it through fuel and energy conservation.
America’s Greenest Campus:
From how the program was organized, how it was implemented, to its results, America’s Greenest Campus was one of the best online environmental campaigns to date. The perfect combination of social media, grassroots organization, and youthful energy made it a big success. Winners were announced on December 5, 2010, with the top honor going to Rio Salado College, which reduced emissions by 4.4%. Thousands of students at hundreds of campuses across the country participated in the program.
Western Mass Saves:
Along with the America’s Greenest Campus contest, Western Mass Saves is a part of smartpower.org, a collection of energy and environmental related initiatives famous for its use of marketing and social media.
“Marketing is not usually where foundations invest their funds, and it is a skill that most non-profits don’t have,” Ruth Hennig, the executive director of The John Merck Fund said. “But the environmental message alone is not enough to make a difference to most electricity customers.” By “marketing energy savings like Coca Cola,” SmartPower has helped create some of the best online campaigns for energy reduction on the Web.
At SmartPower, we’re working every day to promote clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency to the American public, so it’s great to hear that people are using (and appreciating!) our work!
What are some of your favorite online energy saving campaigns? And how did they help you change your energy use behavior?
In 2009, SmartPower’s America’s Greenest Campus campaign reduced the carbon footprint of American college students by 19 million pounds. Yet of the 470 schools who participated, Ivy League institutions made a less-than-stellar showing. No Ivy League schools cracked the top 10. Harvard University held steady at a respectable 16; Yale ended the contest at 23; and Princeton ended up at 37.
If anything, AGC showed that college students in America really do want to do something about their energy consumption. But that eagerness was coming largely from state schools and community colleges (the winners, University of Maryland College Park and Rio Salado College, bear this out).
A lot has changed in the past two years. Today, the Huffington Post reports that Princeton is planning to install the higher education world’s largest solar field. From the Daily Princetonian:
The 5.3-megawatt system, which will include 16,500 photovoltaic panels, will be located on 27 University-owned acres between the Dinky, the Delaware & Raritan Canal, Washington Road and Route 1. It is expected to generate roughly 5.5 percent of the campus’ electrical power and reduce energy costs by about 8 percent.
The school plans to sell the energy back to its utility company, which will help offset the costs of the project until 2020. After that, “it will retire the credits by ceasing to sell them in order to help reduce carbon dioxide emission levels.”
Did you attend an Ivy League school? What’s happening on campus to promote energy efficiency and emissions reduction? We want to know!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2010
CONTACT: Marissa N. Newhall
Communications Manager, SmartPower
U.S. EPA Awards America’s Greenest Campus 2010 Clean Air Excellence Award
Partnership Between SmartPower and Efficiency 2.0 Mobilizes 20,000 Students at 460 Schools in 2009; Campaign Re-Launches in Fall 2010
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded its coveted Clean Air Excellence Award to America’s Greenest Campus, the nation’s largest and most successful on-campus energy efficiency campaign.
America’s Greenest Campus is a partnership between SmartPower, the nation’s leading non-profit marketers of clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Efficiency 2.0, the premier online energy efficiency software company for utilities and governments, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Launched in April 2009, America’s Greenest Campus quickly became the largest campus initiative of its kind. Over 20,000 students, faculty, and alumni at over 460 schools participated, cutting their collective carbon output by 19 million pounds.
“Innovation and commitment are the keys to environmental progress, and our Clean Air Excellence Award winners are tremendous examples,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. “As we look to the future, these winners will help lead the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment.”
America’s Greenest Campus engages college students through social media and on-campus organizing, encouraging them to track their energy use and reduce their carbon footprints. Efficiency 2.0’s Climate Culture, an innovative online platform, provides robust, personalized energy saving recommendations, while SmartPower’s targeted outreach – using Facebook, Twitter, viral videos, and celebrity endorsements (hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Internet phenomenon Obama Girl were on board in 2009) – spreads the message that saving energy is hip, smart, and vital.
The top two institutions – the college with the greatest number of participants, and the college with the greatest per-person carbon reduction – were each awarded $5,000 for sustainability projects of their choosing. University of Maryland, College Park (with 2,257 participants) and Arizona’s Rio Salado College (with 4.4% carbon reduced per person) were the victors in 2009.
“Energy efficiency is really the ‘first renewable’ – the first step we can take to reduce our dependence on oil, save money on our energy bills, and address climate change in a meaningful way,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “We created America’s Greenest Campus because we believe that by giving young people the tools they need to reduce their carbon footprints, we are paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
“The first step to being more efficient is to understand what your options are and what the benefit of each of them is to you. America’s Greenest Campus was the first initiative of its kind to engage young Americans on their energy use in a personalized and socially compelling manner,” said Tom Scaramellino, CEO of Efficiency 2.0. “That is one of the many reasons we are proud to have partnered with SmartPower and the U.S. Department of Energy on this program.”
Carbon output wasn’t all that college students reduced during America’s Greenest Campus. The results reflected $4.25 million in savings and significant energy/resource reductions across the board:
• 186,705 therms of gas
• 156,743 gallons of gasoline
• 154,838 tons of paper
• 28.41 million gallons of water
• 5,984 megawatt hours of electricity
"We’ll never stop climate change with young people on the sidelines," said Ruth Hennig, Executive Director of the John Merck Fund and Chair of SmartPower’s Board of Directors. "We’re proud that SmartPower’s groundbreaking social media outreach is making sure they get that message, giving the next generation of leaders and engaged citizens the tools they need to meet the climate challenge. With today’s college students involved, we can have hope that the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf won’t be repeated."
America’s Greenest Campus will re-launch in fall 2010.
The Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help achieve cleaner air. Award-winning entries must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes, and provide a model for others to follow.
For more information on America’s Greenest Campus and its 2010 Clean Air Excellence Award, please contact Marissa N. Newhall at (202) 775-2040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About SmartPower: Created in 2002, SmartPower is the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower’s award-winning, research-based campaigns have engaged people across the country, building the clean energy marketplace and helping Americans become smarter about their energy use. For more information, please visit www.smartpower.org.
About Efficiency 2.0: Efficiency 2.0 is a leading energy efficiency software and program administration company. We deliver efficiency and demand response benefits to our utility and government partners at unprecedented scale by maximizing household engagement. Our programs and software leverage consumer marketing tactics, sophisticated energy end-use algorithms, and personalized recommendation engines to help consumers and businesses across the country better manage their energy costs. Efficiency 2.0 is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.efficiency20.com.