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May 10, 2014 05:38 AM EDT

Top 10 Energy Conserving Universities in US and Canada

The Appalachian State University claimed the first spot in the Campus Conservation Nationals 2014 contest, an annual spring competition among colleges in the United States and Canada to save energy and water.

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The North Carolina University scored top marks in the energy conservation competition for  promoting disconnection of unused electronics and switching off lights when not in use in the student community among other such measures.

 "This tangible mobilization of hundreds of thousands of students reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainability and actively mitigating the effects of climate change shows that the next generation is ready for change and is no longer willing to wait for decision makers to address the issues at hand," Hannah Debelius, U.S. Green Building Council Students program manager at the Center for Green Schools, said in a statement.

Appalachian was followed by Berea College, Bard College, California State University Chico, Dickinson College, Louisiana State University, Loyola University Maryland, Portland State University, Wake Forest University and Western Carolina University. These top 10 schools were associated with 11 to 24 percent in overall reduction in electricity.

Carl Amritt, Bard's competition director and EcoRep Coordinator for Bard's Office of Sustainability, said that the ranking highlight's the school's commitment toward a green campus.

" ....we were able to host a series of events to encourage students to power down and leave their dorms. The little changes students make in their lives can have a substantial impact on their environment," Amritt said in a statement.

Portland State University, ranked eighth in the list, released nearly 42,000 pounds of carbon dioxide less than the usual amounts during the three-week competition period. The school's enhanced conservation efforts saved the university about $6,446 in utility costs, OregonLive reports.

From Feb. 3 to April 25, 265,000 students at 109 colleges and universities took part in the competition and collectively conserved 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity or 3 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere and nearly 476,000 gallons of water, or of 1.8 million water bottles. The participating members, therefore, saved $196,000 through the contest.

 "As CCN continues to grow and expand, we are amazed at the impact students and staff are able to make," said Chelsea Hodge, director of product engagement, Lucid. "These students are demonstrating that creating a culture of conservation and inspiring individuals to change their behaviors can significantly reduce their campus' carbon footprint."

Top 10 Energy Conserving Universities in the US and Canada

1.       Appalachian State University

2.       Berea College

3.       Bard College

4.       California State University Chico

5.       Dickinson College

6.       Louisiana State University

7.       Loyola University Maryland

8.      Portland State University

9.       Wake Forest University

10.   Western Carolina University

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