UCO named EPA Green Power Challenge Champion for fifth consecutive year

Courtesy of the Edmond Sun

For the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named the University of Central Oklahoma as Individual Conference Champion of the College and University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).

Thirty-nine collegiate conferences and 90 schools competed in the EPA’s Green Power Challenge in 2014-15. Central was ranked No. 20 — up three spots from No. 23 in 2013-14 — for green power usage among all participating schools, a clear indication of the university’s continued commitment to sustainability efforts.

“Once again, UCO is honored to be champion of the MIAA in EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge. Central’s long-time commitment to clean, renewable energy has helped foster a thriving wind energy industry in Oklahoma and will positively impact our great state for generations to come,” said Tim Tillman, sustainability coordinator at Central.

Central uses 26 million kilowatt-hours of wind power annually, making it one of the largest purchasers of green power by a college or university in the nation and the only institution of higher learning in Oklahoma participating in the EPA challenge using 100 percent green power.

“EPA applauds the University of Central Oklahoma as the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Champion in the College and University Green Power Challenge,” said James Critchfield, director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership.

“By purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity, UCO is reducing their carbon footprint and serving as an example for other schools seeking to further their environmental commitments.”

The EPA estimates that Central’s purchase of green power from Edmond Electric is equivalent to offsetting the annual carbon dioxide emissions of more than 2,000 average American homes or nearly 4,000 passenger vehicles.

Central’s relationship with the EPA began in 2006 when the university joined the Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impact associated with conventional electricity use.

In addition to its wind power initiatives, Central has on-site biodiesel production, works with a performance contractor to increase energy performance and uses Energy Star-labeled products.

For more information about green power purchasing and other sustainability initiatives at Central, visit www.uco.edu/green.