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VIRGINIA ENERGY SENSE RECOGNIZES UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ ENERGY SAVING IDEAS Virquan Harold, Alison Sutphin and Samantha Searles Announced as Grand Prize Winners of the Value Your Power University Contest

Richmond, VA (November 11, 2011) – Have you ever thought about how often you plug in your laptop, flip on the lights or adjust the thermostat in a room? Or more importantly, how much energy it takes to accomplish these daily tasks? On the heels of October’s Energy Awareness month, Virginians across the state, including college students, are taking matters into their own hands to help spread the word about energy conservation. Virginia Tech students Virquan Harold, Alison Sutphin and Samantha Searles are among those motivated students who not only value their power but have a few ideas on how their school and the state can help reduce energy use. Virquan Harold, a VT student, says displaying real-time energy use will encourage more faculty, staff and students on campus to stop and think about their own carbon footprint. “My vision is for [Virginia Tech] to have a ‘Hokie Energy Tower’ statue that is powered completely by solar energy with the Hokie holding up a marquee displaying the current daily energy consumption on campus,” said Harold. “I think a landmark like this would be something that would make Hokies even prouder of being a part of this community that stands behind the motto of “Ut Prosim” by setting out to serve those to come.” Tech student, Sutphin is encouraging homeowners to let Mother Nature help with energy reduction efforts. By planting trees to reduce direct sunlight during summer months and block winds that increase heating needs in winter months, residents can see up to a 25 percent decrease in home energy bills according to CES Energy Solutions. “If you ‘Value Your Power’ and value your earth, do some research, beautify your home, and save energy!” said Sutphin. Looking inside structures, Searles a student at Tech acknowledges university students are dependent on energy-consuming technology, especially laptops and computers. Searles recommends the use of Granola, innovative power management software that adapts to usage patterns and adjusts system power settings to reduce energy waste. Granola can help students reduce their carbon footprint by as much as what one tree would save in a year’s time. “With such a green product, that is so easy to download and use, I see this [Granola] as being a perfect addition to college campuses,” said Searles. “College campuses have so many computers and laptops. If each student downloaded the software, it would be amazing how many ‘trees’ we could save!” Each of these energy saving ideas were winning entries from Virginia Energy Sense’s Value Your Power University Contest held in honor of October Energy Awareness month. If you are interested in getting involved with Virginia Energy Sense to help spread the word about the importance of energy conservation, please contact us at:

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About Virginia Energy Sense: Virginia Energy Sense is the Commonwealth’s state-wide consumer education and outreach program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The program will encourage electric energy efficiency and conservation in Virginia households, businesses and institutions. The General Assembly directed the SCC to develop and implement an energy consumer education program for retail customers to provide information regarding energy use, production, conservation and energy efficiency. The Virginia Energy Sense campaign was created to meet that goal. contest

Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!