NAU Designated CONFERENCE CHAMPION in EPA’S College & University Green Power Challenge


Northern Arizona University Recognized as the Big Sky’s Largest Green Power User!

NAU announced today that it was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2014-2015 Individual Conference Champion of the College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Big Sky.

Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has the largest individual use of green power within a qualifying conference.

“NAU has many initiatives to conserve energy on campus, and we’ve just finished a huge, 18 million dollar investment in energy efficiency upgrades but we still recognize that we use a lot of energy, most of which comes from fossil fuels.” Explains Ellen Vaughan, NAU’s Manager of Sustainability. “I’m really proud that NAU has become a national leader in offsetting our carbon use by purchasing green power and spurring the renewable energy industry.”

Northern Arizona University beat its conference rivals by using more than 8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 13 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. NAU is buying a combination of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and utility green power products from Arizona Public Service (APS) and Renewable Choice Energy. In addition, NAU is generating green power from an on-site renewable energy system using solar resources. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

According to the U.S. EPA, Northern Arizona University’s green power use of more than 8 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 800 average American homes annually.

Thirty-nine collegiate conferences and 90 schools competed in the 2014-2015 challenge, collectively using nearly 2.4 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a tenth year, to conclude in spring of 2016. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm

Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, eligible biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.

For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit the Challenge website at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.