New: Bloomington.in.gov/alpha. Your feedback can help make our next website better!

Bloomington and Monroe County Quarterfinalists in Energy Prize Competition

CFR temp logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 22, 2014

For More Information Contact:

Jacqueline Bauer, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Bloomington, 812.349.3837

Jerry Ulrey, Monroe County Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission, 812.568.9996

Julie Thomas, Monroe County Commissioner, 812.345.0707

Bloomington and Monroe County are Quarterfinalists in Energy Prize Competition

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington and Monroe County Government are pleased to announce that they have advanced to the quarterfinal round in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a $5 million incentive competition to reduce energy consumption across the country. There are 52 quarterfinalist communities - each with a population ranging from 5,000 to 250,000. The Bloomington-Monroe County entry is the only quarterfinalist in the state of Indiana.

"The enthusiasm in these communities is contagious," said Dr. Francis Slakely, Executive Director of the Prize. "This is the first time so many governments, utilities, and community groups will be working together to reduce energy consumption."

"This is a great opportunity for the city and the county to work together with our utilities and other local organizations," said Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas. "We'll be developing a vision of what the future of energy will look like in the City of Bloomington and in Monroe County."

The city-county collaboration has led to the creation of a local initiative, the Monroe County Energy Challenge, with representatives from the following entities:

· City of Bloomington

· Monroe County Government

· Town of Ellettsville

· City of Bloomington Commission on Sustainability

· Monroe County Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission

· Duke Energy

· Vectren

· Indiana University Office of Sustainability

· Monroe County Community School Corporation

· Earth Care

To become a quarterfinalist, the Energy Challenge steering committee created a process to develop a community energy efficiency plan and secured commitments of collaboration from the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Government, local utilities, and others.

In November 2014, the Energy Challenge committee will submit a community energy efficiency plan to the Georgetown University Energy Prize Committee, which will be reviewed for entry into the semifinals. To be accepted as a semifinalist, the community must provide a creative plan to reduce energy consumption across the community that is replicable in other communities and also includes an educational component.

The semifinalists selected by the Prize committee will implement a two-year plan beginning in January 2015. In addition to the community's energy reduction (per capita) over the two-year period, the Energy Prize committee will review each community's effort based on replicability, inclusion, innovation, and other factors to determine the winner. The $5 million prize is to be utilized in programming to benefit the entire community.

"Energy is such a key part of both economic development and environmental quality in this area," said Mayor Mark Kruzan. "Being accepted as a quarterfinalist to compete for the Georgetown Prize is a great opportunity for the community, whether we win the prize or not."

The steering committee will call a community meeting soon to encourage residents and business owners to join the effort and share their creative and innovative ideas to improve energy efficiency or suggest energy production efforts. In the meantime, community members are encouraged to join our e-mail list at MoCoEnergyChallenge@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter, @MoCoEnergy to receive updates and notices of community meetings.

"In order to be successful - in saving energy and in winning the Georgetown University Energy Prize - we will be seeking the active participation of the entire Monroe County community," said Jerry Ulrey of the Monroe County Environmental Quality & Sustainability Commission.

For more information on the Georgetown University Energy Prize, visit their website.

###