By Raksha Vasudevan
Across the country, the demand for energy is rising rapidly. Yet, despite known implications for our environment, we still allow more than half of the total energy produced in the U.S. to go wasted due to inefficiencies.1
The National League of Cities (NLC) wants to help change this, and as part of our commitment to city innovation in sustainability, we are partnering with the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.
The Prize kicked off at a two-day conference in Washington, D.C. on April 22 and 23, 2014. At the event—which officially opened the competition’s Application Phase by introducing early signers, or “Letter of Intent Communities”—NLC was announced as one of the Prize’s key partners.
NLC Deputy Executive Director Antoinette Samuel spoke about the critical role of cities in finding creative solutions to address some of the nation’s most pressing issues, including energy security. She also emphasized the role of NLC’s Sustainable Cities Institute in delivering timely, vetted resources to support the Prize participants.
As a partner in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, NLC joins other nonprofit organizations, government entities and for-profit companies to challenge small- to medium-size towns, cities and counties to develop and implement creative, sustainable and replicable strategies to save energy.
During the current Application Phase—which ends on June 30, 2014—communities will submit a basic application to be considered for advancement to the Quarterfinalist Phase. If selected, communities will then work together with their utilities, local government officials, residents, energy efficiency experts and others to develop an energy-saving plan that will not only deliver financial benefits to residents, but also help ensure the long-term sustainability of our communities.
Through the Sustainable Cities Institute, NLC will continue to deliver current “good” practices on energy efficiency, as well as support our membership of community leaders through our workshops and trainings.
Following the Quarterfinalist Phase, plans will be evaluated and a select number of communities will advance to the Semifinals before the Prize concludes in 2017, when one winning community is awarded a $5 million prize purse for use in energy efficiency programs. More information about each of the competition’s four stages is available on the Georgetown Energy Prize website.
We are excited to get underway in the competition and we look forward to elevating NLC as a national supporter of energy efficiency efforts in America. Stay tuned for more details on the Prize, NLC’s ongoing role in the competition and to learn how you can join our efforts. For questions about the Prize, please contact Raksha Vasudevan at 202-626-3024 or Vasudevan@nlc.org.
1According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, using Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration data from August 2010, out of all energy produced, the U.S. has an energy efficiency rate of 42 percent, which means 58 percent of all the energy we produce is wasted.