(Denver, Colorado—April 18, 2012) The University of Utah ranks third in the nation among colleges and universities participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Challenge. The Utes earned this ranking by increasing green power use by 15% in 2011 and purchasing more than 98 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green power, 36 percent of the university’s total power use. Purchases of green power help spur the development of the nation’s green power market and reduce harmful air pollution.
The University of Utah moved from the Mountain West to the Pac-12 conference in 2011, and their performance helped propel the Pac-12 to the top conference in the national ranking. Oregon State University finished a close second to Utah in the Pac-12, with total green power purchases of 95 million kWh. Overall, the Pac-12 had an annual green power usage of more than 228 million kWh annually, which is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 19,500 average American homes for one year. The Big Ten, last year’s Challenge winner, and the Ivy League claimed the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
The University of Pennsylvania, with more than 200 million kWh in green power purchases, took top school honors in the Challenge for the fifth year in a row. Penn was followed by Carnegie Mellon University.
This year’s Challenge participation increased to 73 competing institutions, representing 30 athletic conferences nationwide. The Challenge’s total annual green power usage of more than 1.8 billion kWh has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the CO2 emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 150,000 homes.
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 must qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner and each conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.
The partnership works with over 1,300 diverse organizations including Fortune 500® companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions, as well as a growing number of colleges and universities.
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