Bulls and Blackhawks Ditch the Red, Opt for Green

By Matt Baker

The United Center

The Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks are both headed to the playoffs this year. But the teams’ fans had another reason to cheer in the first environmentally friendly “Go-Green” games recently held at the Madhouse on Madison.

Constellation Energy, the official energy provider for United Center and sponsor of the teams’ first green games this past weekend, invites Bulls and Blackhawks fans to continue their support for the environment by joining Constellation’s Earth Month Hero contest on Facebook. Fans are encouraged to upload images showing how they save energy.

“The Bulls and Blackhawks have demonstrated their commitment to better environmental performance and their fans everywhere can easily do the same,” said Bruce Stewart, chief retail marketing officer for Constellation. The energy efficiency tips that Constellation shares with its Illinois residential customers include ways to enhance efficiency for lighting, appliances and air conditioning. Residential customers can choose Constellation as their home energy supplier at home.constellation.com and many can also opt to receive 100% wind energy.

The Bulls, Blackhawks and Constellation jointly announced a five-year sponsorship designating Constellation as the official energy provider for United Center. The agreement also calls for Constellation to sponsor Go-Green games by purchasing Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match the electricity use on each game day. RECs represent the environmental benefit of electricity generated by wind and therefore avoid emissions associated with fossil fuel generation.

The RECs for the Blackhawks game Sunday avoided 63 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, roughly the equivalent of burning 146 barrels of oil. The use of RECs for the Bulls game avoided 52 metric tons of CO2, approximately the amount of emissions from 2,100 propane-fired home barbeques.

Constellation, an energy supplier since 1999 to Illinois businesses, schools and hospitals, sponsored similar efforts last year for the Chicago Bears, Cubs and White Sox. In addition to powering the United Center, Constellation also supplies electricity to Wrigley Field and Halas Hall, the Bears’ team offices and practice facilities.

These green games also provide an opportunity for fans to learn more about the growing trend to shop and save on home electricity, just as consumers shop for internet or phone service. More than 376,000 Illinois residents have chosen new home electricity suppliers in the past year and a half.

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