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10:58 a.m. January 29, 2013
UTK and Maryville College join TVA Campus Energy Efficiency Program

KNOXVILLE -- Four Tennessee colleges and universities are working with the Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies to promote and implement a new energy efficiency program for campuses.

EnergyRight Solutions for Higher Education helps colleges and universities understand and track their campus energy use and educate the next generation of energy consumers to make smart energy choices through hands-on projects and additions to existing curriculum.

The four campuses selected are the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Cleveland State Community College, East Tennessee State University and Maryville College.

"These four institutions are emerging leaders in energy use best practices," said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. "They have already dedicated significant resources to prioritize the wise use of energy and educate their communities about energy use and sustainability on campus."

Each location will work with campus sustainability leaders, mostly students, to select projects that will achieve energy savings and promote awareness of energy efficiency. The projects will be implemented by student interns who will be paid a stipend by TVA.

"These projects will be led by student ideas, enthusiasm and action," Balzar added.

The participating campuses will receive funding for projects and staff, consulting support from Willdan Energy Solutions, energy audit training and a web-based energy tracking tool to help measure and document the energy savings resulting from projects.

"I am delighted that TVA has selected UT to participate," said Gordie Bennett, Sustainability manager at UT-Knoxville. "Students bring a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm to the table, and their ideas have fueled many campus sustainability initiatives. I look forward to following their progress and accomplishments throughout the program"

At Maryville College, the program will help boost efforts contained in the campus Sustainability Plan.

"This will be invaluable in assisting Maryville College to achieve objectives in our recently approved Sustainability Plan," said Dr. Mark O'Gorman, coordinator of Environmental Studies Program. "We want to implement energy efficiency and consumption reductions, along with curricular and co-curricular experiences for students to support the development of an environmental sustainability ethic over a four-year program of study."

Knoxville Utilities Board and the City of Maryville Utilities are providing additional support and energy data to show the energy savings achieved at UT and Maryville College, respectively.

The efforts at these four participants are part of TVA's overall strategy for improving energy efficiency on campuses. Six campuses are saving energy as a result of their work with TVA and the Alliance to Save Energy since fall 2011. Additional energy efficiency programs will begin soon, or are already underway, across the TVA service area.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.

Published January 29, 2013

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