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Metering Down 

Top Energy Savers Honored at Close of Energy Campaign

Sustainability Director Mary Ellen Mallia, center, announces the top performers of this year's Energy Campaign. At left, VP for Finance and Administration Todd Foreman presents a Terra Award to Dewey Libary's Bridget Collins. At right, VP for Student Affairs Michael Christakis presents the student Terra to Rebecca Benjamin. 

 ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 27, 2018) — The University reduced energy usage by 8 percent, saving 291 tons of carbon dioxide during this fall’s 10-week Energy Campaign, which ended in mid-November.

That’s the equivalent to taking 62 cars off the road for a full year, said Mary Ellen Mallia, the University’s director of sustainability.

The goal of the campaign is to make the campus community aware of energy use, and adopt behavioral changes to reduce use of resources, Mallia said. And while the campaign also sets a goal of a campus-wide energy reduction of 10 percent, Mallia called that goal “aspirational,” and one that the University has only hit once in the 12 years that the Energy Campaign has been conducted.

“We are thrilled that this year we reduced energy usage by 8 percent,” Mallia said. “Our big push is behavioral changes and adopting conservation behaviors over the 10-week period that can become long-term habits.”

At a ceremony marking the close of the campaign, Mallia, along with Vice President for Finance and Administration Todd Foreman and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis, announced the best performers among academic building, specialty buildings and residence halls.

The ceremony also included this semester’s Terra Awards, given to a student, staff and faculty member who have made significant contributions to sustainability on campus.

The student winner was Rebecca Benjamin, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education who was awarded for her commitment to alternative transportation. Staff member Bridget Collins was honored for her advocacy of sustainable practices at Dewey Library, where she works as an administrative support assistant. The faculty award went to David Lewis, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, whose work includes urban planning and environmental restoration.

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