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Santa Clara University Honored as Green Power Champion

Friday, Jun. 25, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif. June 25, 2010 - Santa Clara University's efforts in sustainability and climate neutrality were recognized Friday with a Silicon Valley Power (SVP) Energy Innovator Award.

SVP, the City of Santa Clara's municipal electric utility, held its third annual Energy Innovator competition to recognize companies implementing extraordinary measures to reduce energy consumption and/or utilize "green" power and renewable energy resources. Winners in the categories of Environmental Innovator, Energy Efficiency Partner and Green Power Champion were honored at the 2010 Silicon Valley Energy Summit at Stanford University on Friday.

For a second consecutive year, SCU won the Green Power Champion award, which is given to the company with the most innovative and successful approach to its overall commitment to green power purchases and other renewable energy programs. SCU is the largest participant in the Santa Clara Green Power program and is committed to climate neutrality by the end of 2015, meaning the university intends to have net zero carbon emissions. SCU purchased 22,512 megawatt hours of Santa Clara Green Power. That’s enough to power 2,529 average American homes and equivalent to taking nearly 3,000 cars off the road for one year.

An energy savings strategy was also implemented in April 2009 and has shown remarkable results by reducing peak demand as well as electricity and natural gas consumption across the University. Some of the initiatives include:

  • Changing custodial cleaning hours from late night to early mornings to reduce the amount of electricity used by buildings overnight.
  • Enforcing building temperature set points (68 degrees F for heating, 78 degrees F for cooling).
  • Lighting and HVAC upgrade across the campus further improved building energy efficiency.
  • Peak demand management enabled the University to shed loads when needed to control peak demand.

Other campus-wide initiatives the University has implemented to become more sustainable and climate neutral are:

  • Building its first LEED certified building;
  • Installing solar panels;
  • Adopting water conservation practices such as using recycled water for irrigation purposes and replacing old urinals and toilets with ones that are waterless or ones that use reclaimed water;
  • Encouraging the use of reusable water bottles by providing water filling stations in populated campus locations;
  • Creating a paperless writing center, where an interactive whiteboard allows students to project text from their laptop onto the board via Bluetooth technology;
  • Challenging students to adopt ways to go green while living on campus;
  • Encouraging students to donate items that would have otherwise ended up in dumpsters at the end of the academic year;
  • Encouraging graduating seniors to sign a pledge saying they will live sustainably in the real "world."

Agilent Technologies Inc., Bay Area Internet Solutions, and El Camino Self Storage were also recognized at the 2010 Silicon Valley Energy Summit with an SVP Energy Innovator Award. Read more.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,600 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Connie Kim Coutain | | 408-554-5126 office | 408-829-4836 cell

Tags: Silicon Valley Power Energy Innovator Award

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