OU, UM-Dearborn win top spots in ESD-DTE energy efficiency competition

SOUTHFIELD—Innovative ideas on energy management earned two Michigan schools, Oakland University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, top spots in the E-Challenge Competition. Teams from both schools developed comprehensive energy management plans demonstrating a high level of commitment to reduce energy waste on their campuses.

The E-Challenge Competition, held in partnership with DTE Energy and The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD), recognizes and supports continuous energy improvement and sustainability at Michigan colleges and universities. The program also provides students an opportunity to work alongside university staff to develop innovative energy management plans along with the chance to be awarded financial incentives and scholarships.

The 2020 competition was launched in October 2019, and colleges and universities had until Nov. 30 to submit an application. Plans were due by April 30, and were judged by a panel of energy efficiency experts.

Other teams that submitted energy management plans for their campuses included Lake Superior State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Wayne State University.

“Though the competition for the top two spots was strong, Oakland University, and the University of Michigan – Dearborn provided plans that demonstrated a high level of commitment to energy management on campus,” said Nichole Becker, principal energy manager at DTE Energy. “They provided a thorough analysis of their current performance, and put forth aggressive, yet realistic, energy efficiency goals that included a comprehensive plan for achieving them.”

The two winning schools were awarded a spot in DTE’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program to support the implementation of their plans. Student team members at each university will also receive a scholarship.

“DTE’s SEM program is a long-term approach to instilling and promoting energy management best practices,” said Patrick Ryan, principal supervisor at DTE Energy. “It guides customers to manage energy use with a focus on changing business practices and obtaining commitment from executive management, facility management, and facility staff to reduce energy waste and improve energy efficiency.”

The winners will be recognized during the Michigan Energy Efficiency Conference & Exhibition on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The conference is hosted by DTE Energy and The Engineering Society of Detroit.

For more information on the E-Challenge Competition for Colleges and Universities, visit www.e-challenge.net.

DTE Energy’s operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. DTE also owns energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects; renewable natural gas; natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage; and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE utility operations will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric aspires to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. More at dteenergy.com.

Founded in 1895, The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next. For more information, visit www.esd.org.


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