News: Cville a finalist in $5 million energy-saving competition

Charlottesville is among 50 communities around the country competing to reduce its use of electricity and natural gas over the next two years — and doing so could pay off big time.

The city was announced recently as a semifinalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition, which challenges select towns and cities around the United States to cut their energy usage across 2015 and 2016, compared with 2013 and 2014.

Each competing community will give the university data on energy usage, which will be aggregated and normalized to reflect the size of the locality and adjusted for differing weather conditions.

By January 2017, the list of 50 will be narrowed to 10 finalists, each competing to win the grand prize of $5 million.

Campaigning under the name Energize!Charlottesville, the city will be working with 25 local community partners to drive down citywide energy use, which amounts to an annual utility bill of more than $50 million. Groups such as the Charlottesville City Schools, the Local Energy Alliance Program and the University of Virginia Office for Sustainability have joined the campaign and committed to using community initiatives to drive down energy consumption.

Read the full story. (Daily Progress)