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The University of Virginia has been recognised by the Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award Advisory Panel for its energy efficiency efforts.

The University has been announced as the 2019 innovation award winner in the 'Higher Education Energy Efficiency Technology' category.

The award honours the university's Delta Force initiative  in which the institution identifies internal energy savings potentials, funds them and recovers 125% of the funding out of utility savings.

Delta Force has to date invested $15.5 million in improvements to existing buildings on the university's grounds and saved $35 million.

At the institution's Clark Hall, a total of $2 million has been directed towards smart management of facilities, resulting in energy costs reduction from $1.2 million a year to approximately $400,000.

To increase student's awareness on energy efficiency, the programme ensures effective communication through onsite pledge boards that encourage people to sign a pledge to reduce energy use when they are on campus.

Jesse Warren, UVA's Sustainability Programme Manager – Buildings & Operations, said: "We knew that we were doing a good thing. We saw the value it brings in both promoting sustainability and funding other projects that otherwise might not happen. To be recognised and awarded for it is a great surprise and a motivator to continue to make it even better.

The university is working with CPower under its energy efficiency programme.

The University of Virginia is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville plus the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. It has more than 28,000 employees, including approximately 16,000 faculty and staff and 12,000 health system employees.