Iola comes up short in statewide green contest



October 26, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Iola finished third in the southeast Kansas Take Charge Challenge.
Fort Scott won the $100,000 prize for the region in the Kansas Energy Office distribution of stimulus money in the energy conservation contest. Chanute was second, Parsons fourth and Pittsburg fifth.
The prize money is designated for additional energy conservation measures.
Fort Scott’s victory came from efforts of residents that totaled $185,474 in energy savings, including the change-out of 51,591 incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent, which are less of an energy drain and last much longer.
Iolans’ savings were figured at $53,572.52, with interchange of 15,071 fluorescent bulbs for incandescent.
Each of the five cities, and 11 others elsewhere in Kansas, were given $25,000 to put together events to raise energy conservation awareness, including the light bulb change-out and individual home energy audits.
Figures for the other three southeast region cities were: Chanute, $126,341 and 36,028 bulbs; Parsons, $42,655.61 and 12,065 bulbs; Pittsburg, $20,433.91 and 5,825 bulbs.
Elsewhere, Manhattan/Kansas State University won in the university category over Lawrence/Kansas University, and regional winners other than Fort Scott were Colby and Baldwin City. All together, 16 communities with populations totaling 275,000 were involved.
Statistics gleaned from the contest, which has been percolating since spring, show 110.2 billion British thermal units of energy were saved. That equates, according to the Kansas Energy Office, to 19,000 barrels of oil not imported, taking 3,300 cars off the road, planting 431,000 trees, 22 million pounds of carbon dioxide not being released and enough energy to power 985 Kansas homes for a year.
In the 16 communities, 152 homes had energy efficiency retrofits, 309,154 light bulbs were exchanged, 404,974 people attended 1,093 Take Charge events or presentations and nearly 3,300 volunteers were involved.

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