Duke University, NC Green Power Challenge
Status: Launched in 2002
In November 2002, students from Environmental Alliance proposed energy conservation measures for the school that were adopted by the Facilities Management Department (FMD). FMD implemented the measures over winter break and estimated the savings at $800,000 over 10 years.
In February 2003, a group of Environmental Alliance (EA) members proposed that the University should use some of those savings to purchase green energy. In particular, they asked the University to put up $25,000 to challenge-match student, faculty and staff purchases of wind power.
In April 2003, EA launched the Duke Green Power Challenge, an ambitious campaign to sign-up students, faculty and staff for 1,250 kwh blocks of wind power at $25 a piece. The effort garnered positive support in the student newspaper and 500 participants in just 4 weeks.
By October 2003, the campaign reached its goal and EA shifted its focus to renewable energy purchasing as an annual commitment for the University. The University is currently considering long-term contracts for the purchase of renewable energy for its new "green" buildings.
EA has learned a great deal from its energy campaigns. In the fall of 2003 and spring of 2004, the EA teamed up with students from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University to co-host the Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference in April 2004. This conference was a forum for both learning and sharing with other students through out the southeast.