U of I Wins Freezer Challenge

Aug 06, 2018

The University of Illinois Wins the 2018 Freezer Challenge for Energy Reduction in Labs

Freezer Challenge Image

More than 40 U of I laboratories participated in the Freezer Challenge.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Being the best at reducing the energy required for laboratory cold storage earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first place in the 2018 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge. The program is jointly run by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL).

The campus won the challenge’s Academia category after 45 labs in 17 buildings reduced total energy usage by an estimated 720 kWh/day from October 2017 through June 2018. The annual total of 262,800 kWh of electricity saved is the approximate equivalent of the yearly energy used by 25 typical U.S. homes.

Participating labs implemented best practices for cold storage management and received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples, and retiring unneeded units.

Facilities & Services (F&S) Utilities & Energy Services Specialist Paul Foote said, “The researchers did an outstanding job of implementing energy-efficient, safety-focused, and environmentally sustainable practices that simultaneously provided cost avoidance along with benefitting the environment. We hope the results will encourage more labs to join these efforts and show that individual contributions add up and make a significant impact.”

The university’s participation in the Freezer Challenge is a collaboration between the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Division of Research Safety; the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE); the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC); and F&S.

More than 200 labs representing 34 organizations worldwide competed in the challenge. The U of I will be honored for its achievement in October at the I2SL conference in Raleigh, N.C.

More information on the challenge is available at https://www.freezerchallenge.org/. Researchers interested in participating should contact:

U of I Freezer Challenge Coordinator
Paul Foote
Utilities & Energy Services
Facilities & Services

Freezer Challenge News Release PDF