Energy Challenge Ends

The Daily News

Park Hall and the Whitinger Business Building beat out the competition to win the Ball State Energy Action Team’s energy challenge. 

The winners were able to reduce their energy consumption, measured by electrical, heat and cooling usage, by the highest percentage over a four-week time period that came to a close on Monday. 

BEAT president and senior public relations major Abby Rondot said Wagner Hall, the dorm for the Indiana Academy of Arts and Sciences, won the residence hall division and reduced its energy use the most, but since it isn’t technically part of the university, it wasn’t able to actually compete.

Park Hall will receive a pizza party for the win. 

Rondot said the campus-wide effort shows individual actions can have real positive implications. 

“It shows even though you’re just one person, collectively it really adds up and it can be a tangible amount,” she said. “[Students] might feel they aren’t making a difference but if a lot of people contributed, there would be a large reduction in carbon emissions.”

In addition to the environmental benefits, Ball State sees savings on its energy bill. 

Kevin Kenyon, BEAT adviser and associate vice president of facilities, said the university saves an amount in the six figures over the course of a fiscal year, which includes two BEAT challenges, one Fall Semester and another during Spring Semester. 

Kenyon did not have exact figures as to the savings but said it is “substantial.” 

Since the BEAT challenges started in 2010, this was the first semester the challenge included academic buildings.

Rondot said Whitinger won by a large margin, reducing its energy consumption by about 30 percent. 

Treasurer Randy Howard said the departments that occupy Whitinger will receive a monetary reward, taken out of the savings created by the challenge. Howard said the amount has not yet been determined and it will be a one-time award at the discretion of the department. The building faculty and staff will also receive a continental breakfast. 

“Our hope is that the experience and data gained in this trial run will lead to an even larger academic contest next year,” Howard said. “The BEAT has had great success with the residence hall competition and [the academic building competition] is a logical next step.”

Kenyon said for it being the first time for the academic building competition, it was successful and BEAT will take lessons learned this time and apply them next semester. 

“One of the things [we learned] from the academic end is if you have a champion in the building, someone who is really interested and cares about it and goes around and proselytizes other people in the building to participate, it can be very successful,” Kenyon said. 

Rondot said the most successful residence halls take a community approach to the challenge and when students are aware of their energy consumption through challenges like BEAT, they can take it forward in their lives. 

“Students might never have thought about reducing energy use or conserving resources before and this gives them a new perspective,” she said. “Once they learn these things they can take them into their own house and reduce their energy bills and save money.”


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