Bellingham, WA has landed a spot in as a top 10 finalist in The Georgetown University Energy Prize. Over the past three years, communities across the country came together, in the spirit of friendly competition, to significantly raise the bar on energy efficiency in the contest hosted by Georgetown University. The energy competition that had Kilowatt Kitty encouraging Bellingham’s residents, public schools, and government to “Start Saving. Right Meow” with the Bellingham Energy Prize.
In December 2017, the Energy Prize Judging Panel will review final reports about each community’s energy-saving plan, performance, and future prospects to select a winning community. The final reports will be scored in weighted categories, including innovation; potential for replication; likely future performance; equitable access, community and stakeholder engagement; education; and overall quality and success.
“Bellingham is at the forefront of a nationwide competition to bring together communities with a shared goal of reducing energy consumption,” said Energy Prize executive director Uwe Brandes. “Our ten finalists have achieved impressive energy savings and reduced municipal and household energy budgets. They serve as models for other communities across our country and have offered innovative energy-saving strategies that can be replicated and scaled.”
“We are so proud to be part of a community who continues to find innovative ways to reduce energy,” said Derek Long, Executive Director of Sustainable Connections. “The competition from Georgetown University strengthened our relationships with regional partners and encouraged our city to save even more energy, so we already feel like winners.”
Since 2014, 50 cities and counties across the U.S. have worked to reduce their energy consumption through the Georgetown University Energy Prize. At the end of 2016, these communities had collectively saved 11.5 trillion BTUs of energy, reducing their carbon emissions by an estimated 2.76 million metric tons—the equivalent of taking one car off the road for every 30 minutes of the competition—and saving nearly $100 million from municipal and household energy budgets.