Past Winners of Energy Contest

REI Energy Contest Winners announced for 2018

energy contest winners small2

 (Left to Right: Maya Robles, Emily Cheng, Stephen Petrides, Zijun Xu, Swati Modhwadia, Evan Lutz,  Emily Nanneman)

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) annually challenges Rutgers undergraduates to develop implementable plans for reducing energy consumption on campus.


The three winning entries were awarded prizes at the 2018 REI Annual Symposium.

1st Place for $2,500:  The Collegiate Carbon Exchange

Emily Cheng and Maya Robles

Cheng Major: Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior  Minor:  Economics

Robles Major: Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior  Minor:  Spanish and Cultural Anthropology

Abstract:  Our solution is a cap and trade program among the Big 10 universities that will accelerate the process to achieve carbon neutrality. The program, called the College Carbon Exchange (CCX) will provide the mechanism for universities to invest in clean energy and energy efficient operations and engage students to improve their energy behavior. CCX will incentivize universities to take strong action on an issue where cost has usually been a barrier. Schools part of the trading scheme will include the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, University of Iowa, Indiana University, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin, and Rutgers University. CCX will enable these large, public universities to be climate leaders.


2nd Place for $1,500: Savings Found From Reforming Laundry Room Habits and Installing New Clothes Dryers at Rutgers New Brunswick

Evan Lutz, Emily Sukenik, Zijun Xu, Stephen Petrides, Swati Modhwadia

Students for Environmental & Energy Development (SEED)

Abstract: Students for Environmental & Energy Development (SEED) found that by modifying student habits in the laundry room, the university could save $88,500 per year and by installing all new dryers, could save $81,200 a year. Altogether, this proposal indicates $150,300 in possible savings per year if students were to modify their habits and use new dryers. If money saved from implementing new student habits went into purchasing new dryers, the university could be outfitted with new dryers after six years. 


3rd Place for $1,000:  Lighting the Way to Savings with LED's

Kyra Frank and Emily Nanneman

Frank Major: Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior and Philosophy

Nanneman Major: Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior

Abstract:  With the majority of traditional style residence halls at Rutgers lit by inefficient fluorescent light fixtures, dorm lighting uses large amounts of energy and costs a substantial amount of money each year. To cut back on Rutgers’ energy use, we propose replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs controlled by occupancy sensors. LED bulbs are at least 75% more efficient than fluorescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. While the initial costs of LEDs are greater, the potential savings make the switch a sound investment.