EPA Recognizes Allegheny College for Largest Green Power Purchase Among NCAC Schools

April 18, 2012 — Allegheny College has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2011-2012 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

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

Allegheny College beat its conference rivals by using nearly 15 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Allegheny purchases renewable energy certificates from Constellation NewEnergy, helping to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’s electricity use.

“EPA applauds Allegheny College as the North Coast Athletic Conference Champion in this year’s College and University Green Power Challenge,” said Blaine Collison, director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “By purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity, Allegheny College is reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions and showing that small schools can make a big difference for the environment.”

According to the U.S. EPA, Allegheny College’s green power use of nearly 15 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of more than 2,000 passenger vehicles per year. The North Coast Athletic Conference’s collective green power purchase of nearly 28 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes, or the annual CO2 emissions of nearly 4,000 passenger vehicles.

Thirty collegiate conferences and 73 schools competed in the 2011-2012 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 1.8 billion kWh of green power. 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 purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

Allegheny, which has pledged to become climate neutral by 2020, recently was recognized as one of 15 top colleges and universities for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

In addition, Allegheny is among only seven colleges and universities nationwide to join the Better Buildings Challenge announced by President Barack Obama. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Allegheny will reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020 in 1.3 million square feet of building space across their campus.