KOHLER, WIS. — December 17, 2010 — Kohler Co. joins Johnson Controls and the National Energy Foundation to host the 10th annual Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge, a national competition for kindergarten through 12th grade students to share ideas about wise energy choices and environmental stewardship. This year’s program runs through March 2011 and includes ICE Water, a new category for the competition that adds a water education component to the traditional energy and environmental educational objectives.
“When we conserve water, we conserve the energy needed to pump and treat it,” said Bruno Biasiotta, vice president and general manager, Energy Solutions Americas, Johnson Controls. “For the last decade, the ICE Challenge has actively engaged youth to think about energy efficiency. Adding water conservation to this thought process enhances the learning experience for today’s students – our future environmental leaders.”
Water efficiency remains a growing concern with nearly 36 states expecting to face water shortages within the next five years according to a 2008 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ICE Water integrates the close connection of water and energy conservation into this educational competition and prompts teachers and students to integrate water into their classroom discussions about energy and natural resources.
“The future of natural resources in this world depends on the actions we take now, and the choices we make in our own lives. It is our responsibility to teach our children to make wise choices when it comes to natural resources,” said Rob Zimmerman, manager of engineering, water conservation and sustainability for Kohler Co. “The ICE Challenge is a proven and effective way to teach children about their choices and get them excited about making changes and taking action in their own communities.”
A total of five Grand Prize winners, four student winners and one teacher will travel to the 2011 United States Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF) where they will share their winning projects with national leaders and energy policymakers. Co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and the United States Energy Association, EEF aims to advance energy efficiency issues as part of a broader campaign to raise energy awareness. The event is scheduled to take place on June 15-16, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the national winners, the highest scoring student in each qualifying state or province will receive recognition as the State or Province winner. Through the Johnson Controls Blue Sky Involve program, ICE winners and their schools are encouraged to team up with a Johnson Controls employee to work on a volunteer project that protects the environment in their community. Projects can be submitted for a $1,000 grant donated to the school.
The ICE Challenge is administered by the National Energy Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Johnson Controls. NEF has served as the ICE education partner over the life of the competition and continues to help create awareness about the competition among teachers and students throughout the nation.
All ICE Challenge entries must be postmarked by March 4, 2011; submissions postmarked by February 18, 2011 will qualify for additional early bird prizes. ICE Challenge winners will be announced in late March 2011. Additional information about the ICE Challenge and the official contest rules can be found at www.ignitingcreativeenergy.org.
Kohler Co., a two-time EPA WaterSense Partner of the Year award recipient and 2010 Excellence Award recipient for strategic collaboration, offers plumbing products under its KOHLER and STERLING brands that are designed to conserve natural resources while remaining true to a singular level of quality of performance and design. Whether specifying plumbing products that help buildings earn LEED® water-efficiency points, reducing facility operating costs or accommodating the preferences of homeowners, environmentally friendly KOHLER fixtures and faucets address the challenging demands of customers and preserve one of our most precious natural resources. For more information on water savings and Kohler’s products that carry the WaterSense label, visitwww.SaveWaterAmerica.com.