Monday, April 24, 2017
Mercyhurst University announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized it as an Individual Conference Champion of the 2016-17 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.
Mercyhurst University beat its conference rivals by using 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing more than 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Mercyhurst is procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Renewable Choice Energy. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
According to the U.S. EPA, Mercyhurst's green power use of 13 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 1,200 average American homes annually.
Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, eligible biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
Mercyhurst has been purchasing renewable energy since 2002, according to Mercyhurst Green Team Chair Dr. Chris Magoc. Starting at 10 percent, the university went to 30 percent in 2007, then 100 percent in 2010.
“In addition,” Magoc said, “Since 2014, we have also offset all of the carbon emission we generate from transportation sources. Both of these initiatives advance us toward our 2007 pledge and mission-driven commitment of carbon neutrality by 2030, fortifying the position of Mercyhurst University in the fight to curb the worst effects of climate change.”