Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition
Takoma Park Wins Third Place!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Neighborhood Energy Challenge, Green Home Certification program, and all who did something to increase energy efficiency over the last several years. This is truly a community win!
1. Fargo, ND
2. Fort Collins, CO
3. Takoma Park, MD and Bellingham, WA
Overall energy score of top 10 communities:
The score measured the percentage by which a community reduced energy in 2015 and 2016, against its 2013 and 2014 use. The overall energy score comprised 10 percent of the final qualitative evaluation.
- Chula Vista, California (-9.5450)
- Walla Walla, Washington (-9.1141)
- Takoma Park, Maryland (-7.8790)
- Fargo, North Dakota (-6.8472)
- Fort Collins, Colorado (-6.0757)
- Berkeley, California (-4.7207)
- Oberlin, Ohio (-4.5536)
- Bellingham, Washington (-4.4243)
- Montpelier, Vermont (-4.2793)
- Bellevue, Washington (-4.2333)
Comprehensive data is available on its website www.guep.org.
The 10 finalist communities were scored in weighted categories, including innovation; potential for replication; likely future performance; equitable access, community and stakeholder engagement; education; and overall quality and success. Takoma Park placed third both in terms of actual energy use data and in overall performance. The city is very proud of all it accomplished in increasing energy efficiency and in the community.
Most important – the impact!
– 101 billion BTUs of energy diverted
– Reduced carbon emissions by 5,364 metric tons
This is equivalent to: 13,147,059 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle or 579 homes energy use for an entire year!
Over 20% of homes in Takoma Park participated, sharing ideas about how to help Takoma Park win the prize and how to reduce energy use. City Council and the Mayor(s), staff, small businesses, utilities, local experts, and more all supported the competition. It is because so many people supported the city’s effort and participated that Takoma Park placed so well. Thank you!
For more information about the prize, and Takoma Park’s efforts see the full press release.
Takoma Park supports the Paris Climate Accord, 100% renewable energy, and will continue to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
About Georgetown University Energy Prize
The Georgetown University Energy Prize aimed to rethink America’s energy use by harnessing the ingenuity and community spirit of towns and cities all across America. From 2013 – 2017, the Prize has challenged small- to medium-sized towns, cities, and counties to rethink their energy use, and implement creative strategies to increase efficiency. Throughout the competition, local governments, residents, utilities, and other community leaders worked together to demonstrate success in sustainably reducing energy consumption. For more information, visit www.guep.org.
How YOU Can STILL Save Energy and Help Takoma Park Reduce Emissions
The contest may be over, but we still are working towards goals to reduce our energy use city-wide and continue to improve our greenhouse gas emissions.
3 Easy Ways to Save Energy
- Install a programmable thermostat (and program it!) You can get one installed for FREE! Pepco’s Energy Wise Rewards program will not only give you a free web-programmable thermostat, you also get bill credits 3 – 7 times a summer if you allow Pepco to cycle down your AC a few degrees. Try it out – if you don’t like you keep the thermostat.
- Switch to LED bulbs. LEDs are now only $2 – 3 each, are available everywhere you buy light bulbs, and can last up to 15 years. If you have old CFLs, you can recycle them at a number of local stores.
- Air seal and insulate your home. A home energy audit will tell you what you need. Here is a list of local contractors who can help you.
For More Energy Savings
The city’s Sustainability Manager can coach you through the process of reducing energy use and saving money. Our Green Home Certification guide will help you find ways to save energy, and get recognition for doing so.
Complete enough actions from our Green Home Certification checklist and you will get Light Green, Medium Green, or Dark Green Certified.
Takoma Park’s Energy Efficiency Rebates Can Help
Takoma Park offers $50 rebate for energy audits, and up to $500 for energy efficiency improvements. Go to https://takomaparkmd.gov/government/sustainability/energy-efficiency-rebates/ for more information.
Be a Neighborhood Energy Champion.
Talk to your neighbors about energy efficiency. Host an energy party at your home, church, or school and the Sustainability Manager can make a presentation, give recommendations, and even coordinate local experts like energy auditors, solar energy experts, and contractors to attend. Contact Gina Mathias, Sustainability Manager to volunteer.
Map of Georgetown University Energy Prize Competing Communities
Services to Help You Help Takoma Park Win the Energy Prize
- Energy Coaching. Takoma Park’s energy coaching service can help you select energy auditors and contractors, review audit reports and recommendations, find “next level” energy savings, and help you navigate rebate and incentive programs – including Pepco’s Home Performance with Energy Star program. Contact Gina Mathias, Sustainability Manager, at GinaM@takomaparkmd.gov for more info.
What Takoma Park is Doing to Lower Energy Use
- Completing energy audits in all city owned or operated buildings.
- Completing lighting retrofits in all city owner or operated buildings.
- Upgrading heating and cooling systems at Heffner Park, Recreation Center, and the Community Center.
- Converting streetlights to LEDs. The first LED streetlight project is scheduled to be completed in August 2015 on Flower Avenue.
- Staff engagement with operations of city facilities, and a staff energy saving competition will occur in 2016.
Georgetown University Energy Prize Progress Report
- 191 households have been Green Home Certified!
- Over 30 new residential solar energy systems have been installed! Congratulations to everyone who received a discount through the Takoma Park Solar Co-op. The MD SUN website can help you find the next co-op to join.
- $43,000 in rebates have been awarded to residents for energy efficient actions as of June 12, 2015.
- DOZENS of neighborhood and community meetings have taken place. Contact the Sustainability Manger to host one in your neighborhood!
- LED streetlight pilot project on Flower Avenue is completed. 49 streetlights were converted to LED in August 2015. Staff is monitoring their performance and exploring options for city-wide LED retrofits.
- LED lighting upgrades are ongoing at the Community Center.
- Lighting automation projects ongoing.