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St. Lawrence Students Win Negawatt Challenge

For the second time in two years, St. Lawrence University students earned first place in the annual New York Negawatt Challenge.

The competition, which ended Nov. 21, challenged students at New York Six consortium of liberal arts colleges to reduce their electrical consumption in residence halls over a three-week period. This year's participants included Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Union College, and Colgate University in addition to St. Lawrence.

St. Lawrence earned the top spot for a second time by reducing its electrical consumption 5.2 percent, or 12,031 kilowatt hours. St. Lawrence won its first New York Negawatt Challenge in the Spring 2014 semester.

The University’s participation in the competition is an effort of the Environmental Action Organization (EAO), which aims to improve campus sustainability at St. Lawrence.

“It’s easy to not think about how much energy we are using, especially when we aren’t the ones directly paying the bills,” said EAO leadership team members Maggie Kelly ’18 of East Thetford, Vermont, and Hattie Geist ’18 of Donnelly, Idaho. “We hope that, just by participating, students will come away with a greater awareness and will continue to be mindful of their energy consumption even after the competition ends,” they said.

While the competition is generally intercollegiate, the energy reduction per residence hall on St. Lawrence campus is also recorded. At Negawatt’s end, the residence and theme house with the highest percentage of energy reduction respectively will win a parcel of celebratory Pub Cookies. Reduction will be tracked by residence each day online as well as school-wide.

In addition to the student-lead competition, St. Lawrence University recently made strides in sustainability at the administrative level. Earlier this semester, the University committed to providing the campus with nearly 100 percent clean, renewable energy by summer’s end, entering into two long-term agreements for both hydro and solar power.

Read more about St. Lawrence University's sustainable energy plans.

Read more about the Negawatt Challenge and view the complete standings on the Negawatt Dashboard.

~ Emma Cummings-Krueger ’16 contributed to this report.