Pomona Wins Annual Power Down Competition

Pomona College won the 2010 Claremont Colleges Power Down Competition, which pitted Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, and Pomona against each other in a competition to reduce energy use during the month of November. The annual competition compared total electricity consumption in November at the three schools to data from previous years.

While it initially appeared that Mudd had won with an 11 percent reduction, further review showed that it had only reduced its power by 10.2 percent. With the change, Pomona placed first with a 10.5 percent reduction. Despite coming in third, CMC also reduced its consumption slightly more than in previous years.

For its efforts, Pomona will receive an engraved solar panel trophy supplied by Mudd.

Residence halls of all three colleges also vied for the $3,000 extracted from the budgets of PEAR, SAFE, and ESW/MOSS. Oldenborg won the contest among Pomona residence halls, receiving a donut party and the choice of where the award money will be allocated. Oldenborg residents will use the money to finance either sustainable planting, switching to smart power strips, or expanding the Coop to incorporate reusable takeout containers.

According to president of ESW/MOSS Kim Kilday HM ’13, many at Mudd were passionate about the competition. Kilday noted that some of the students’ competitive natures may have gotten the best of them.

“Unfortunately there was some minor sabotage,” Kilday said. “I heard of some students bringing their laundry to other dorms to reduce their energy consumption.”

Although the competition originally included all 5Cs, Scripps and Pitzer have failed to participate since 2007.

“It’s a shame that there wasn’t more of an effort to make this known [to Pitzer and Scripps students],” said Lindon Pronto PZ ’12, a student involved in Pitzer Environmental Action (PEA), Students for the Bernard Field Station (SBFS), and the 5C Environmental Council.

PEA is currently in the process of coordinating a program similar to the recent Power Down Competition.

“Right now we are having a February energy saving challenge, where the administration has promised to match savings money and put it towards Kohoutek,” Pronto said.

Additionally, all the 5C environmental clubs have agreed to form a committee to facilitate more collaboration among themselves.

“I think it is a really valuable development that this committee is being formed,” said PEAR leader Nik Tyack PO ’11. “If you collaborate [budgets] there is so much more money available and more people come to events… It makes so much more sense.”

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