A $5 million pot is up for grabs in the nationwide contest for communities to develop and implement long-term energy efficiency plans.
Communities across the U.S. are thinking long-term about energy efficiency thanks to the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP), a nationwide competition offering $5 million for development and implementation of superior long-term energy efficiency plans.
The central premise of the GUEP is encouraging community leaders to collaborate with local government and public utilities to craft a detailed action plan for achieving energy efficiency long-term. Competition organizers hope to inspire innovative energy efficiency plans and best practices that can be replicated in any-size community. For the purposes of competition, all municipalities with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 people (as of the 2010 Census) are eligible to participate.
Competition kicked off in April with all interested communities invited to submit applications. Beginning in August and running through November, all credible applicants are invited to submit detailed long-term energy efficiency action plans. If the GUEP committee deems the plan exceptional, they will be allowed into phase 3, a two-year trial implementation of the action plan running from January 2015 to December 2016. Finalists will be invited to submit final reports in January 2017, and the committee will declare winners by June of that year.
During the implementation stage, all energy consumption data will reported by public utilities on a quarterly basis. Finalists will be selected based on their ability to reduce energy consumption during the trial period. Once chosen, finalists will draft closing reports analyzing their performance and potential future success. GUEP judges will assign each report a final score in multiple categories.
The prize money will be split amongst the top three finalists. Finalists must use the funding for the greater community as outlined in their Stage 2 program plan.