The Energy Department and Georgetown University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a competition to encourage innovative, replicable and scalable approaches to reducing energy use in communities across the United States. Aimed at increasing the number of municipalities, utilities, and individuals working to save energy in their homes and communities, the MOU supports President Obama’s Climate Action Plan of pursuing greater energy efficiency that reduces greenhouse gases and saves consumers money.
Beginning in February 2014, U.S. municipalities ranging in population from 5,000 to 250,000 residents—accounting for more than 65 percent of American communities and 200 million residents—will be eligible to compete for the prize by reducing their energy use. Participating communities must develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability during a two-year period. The winning community will receive $5 million provided by private sponsors, which will help to support their continuing community-based energy efficiency efforts. Interested parties are invited to learn more about Georgetown Energy Prize, review the competition’s rules and timeline, and register their communities in advance of the formal launch in February.
Although only one community will win the Georgetown University Energy Prize, each participating community will benefit from access to financial and technical resources. Organizers have designed the competition to create pathways toward achieving greater efficiency in homes and municipal buildings across the country. Communities are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent as soon as possible.
The Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) will advise the Georgetown University Energy Prize in refining competition guidelines, promoting the prize among key stakeholders, and providing technical assistance to participating communities. The Department’s Better Buildings Residential Network (BBRN) is specifically committed to sharing lessons learned and technical knowledge with organizations and communities taking steps to become more energy efficient.
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.