The Andover community plunged into a race with Deerfield Academy to save the most energy with the start of the annual Green Cup Challenge on Wednesday. A four-week competition, the Green Cup Challenge tasks students with reducing their energy consumption by February 15. Last year, Deerfield topped Andover, reducing its energy by 8.1 percent, compared to Andover’s 5.7 percent. Jonah Guerin, Community Sustainability Intern and the Coordinator of the Green Cup Challenge, has worked with the Green Cup Challenge team to plan new strategies to defeat Deerfield. Andover plans to focus primarily on energy reduction in campus dormitories. While last year’s Sustainability Department encouraged intraclusters and intradorms reduction competition, this year, all 26 dorms will collaborate to beat Deerfield, according to Guerin. Patricia Russell, Sustainability Coordinator, said, “[The outcome of the competition] is all up to the students. If students get involved and spread the word about reducing energy, then we have a great shot to beat Deerfield.” As an incentive, Guerin and the Green Cup Challenge Team will award a “mystery prize” to the Andover community if the school beats Deerfield. Students can also submit suggestions of how to save energy into an “idea box” in Paresky Commons, which will qualify them to enter into a school-wide raffle for prizes. In the spirit of the Green Cup Challenge, Paresky Commons will also display a “bread ort” that contains the bread waste each day. “[The competition aims to] demonstrate that [Andover] is not just interested in other people making significant changes in their lifestyles, but we also are willing to look at our own operations,” said Russell. The energy data will be recorded through Gunga Data, an interactive tool on the Phillips Academy website that continues counts the school’s energy reduction. The Green Cup Challenge Team, comprised of Kennedy Edmonds ’12, Claudia Giles ’13, Rachel Margolese ‘12 and Amanda MacDonald ‘12, proposed the strategies and prizes for the Green Cup Challenge. The Green Cup Challenge initiatives will be a part of a five- year plan at Andover to improve water and energy conservation, according to Russell. “[The Green Cup Challenge] is really a part of full-sustainability action plan for the institution,” she said. Guerin said, “Hopefully we can carry forward the tips and tricks we use to save energy in the competition and continue them in the future.” Russell said that the Green Cup Challenge is a way for students to show they can make a difference. Along with the Green Cup Challenge, Andover students can also participate in a Green Cup Challenge Video Competition against numerous schools in the nation. Giles organized this year’s video competition. Students can continue to submit videos to the nation-wide competition until February 1.