USAFA Gets Energy Efficient, Reality TV Style

Nov 30, 2016

The U.S. Air Force Academy is engaging in some friendly competition with the Naval Academy in Maryland to see who can become more energy efficient. It's all part of a Department of Energy reality show called Better Buildings Challenge SWAP.

Miranda Ballentine oversees energy use programs at Air Force installations. She says the competition will help get everyone on campus involved in saving energy.

"Students have incredible ideas," she says. "This is yet another way that we can tap into the energy of our own Air Force cadets, but also the midshipmen from the Naval Academy."

Teams from each academy walked through their rivals' campuses to expose energy shortcomings and learn from each other's achievements.

Ballentine says though it's competitive, the swap will ultimately benefit both academies.

Maria Vargas directs the Better Buildings Challenge for the U.S. Department of Energy. She says while there's always room for improvement, the Air Force Academy is making strides.

"The solar roofs that are used on a number of the dormitories I think wowed all of us," she says.

The first season of the show featured the Hilton and Whole Foods and has more than 400,000 views on YouTube. The Better Buildings Challenge initiative has seen a 24% increase in membership since it aired.

This season of Better Buildings Challenge SWAP debuted on YouTube this week.