Southern Earns Power of Change Award

Southern has received the Power of Change Top Building Award -- a statewide recognition -- for its team-based effort to reduce electricity use in nine residence halls.

The university took First Honors in the Innovation Award category for its team-based effort to reduce electricity use in nine residence halls during the College Conservation Nationals (CCN), the largest nationwide electricity and water reduction competition on college and university campuses, now in its third year.

Power of Change AwardA total of seven state energy efficiency projects were celebrated as models at the first-ever Power of Change Award ceremony, which was sponsored by the Common Sense Fund, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The awards were presented during a ceremony held April 9 at the State Capitol.

"These seven Power of Change Award winners demonstrate the innovative ways Connecticut is meeting aggressive energy efficiency goals and are a promising example of how our state is taking an active role in driving a clean energy economy forward," said Stewart Hudson of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, one of the three organizations funding and supporting the initiative. 

"We created the Power of Change Award as an opportunity to provide recognition and also encourage even more state and municipal leaders to make an important investment in their future. We believe it's important to celebrate success where it occurs -- in this case good government practices that protect human health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in the process help the Connecticut economy and save taxpayer dollars."

State agencies, facility managers and stakeholders entered projects in three award categories: the Innovation Award, designed to recognize new and effective ideas and approaches to achieve energy reduction through efficiency; the Fast Track Award, recognizing the agencies that got out front by aiming for higher levels of efficiency; and Most Energy-Efficient Building Awards for buildings associated with Connecticut-owned educational institutions and courthouses.

"The award is based on SCSU's success in developing our collaborative network for sustainability engagement and our success in coordinating efforts in many departments -- Facilities, Res Life, Science Ed and Environmental Studies, Public Affairs, FYE --  to develop more sustainable practices, " said Suzanne Huminski, acting coordinator of the university's Office of Sustainability. "The energy conservation contest was the case study for the award, but our application made it clear that CCN is one of many projects we work on together."