Chattanooga was selected to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million incentive competition to reduce America’s energy consumption.
Chattanooga has assembled a team of organizations to create a plan to lower per-capita energy used in key areas of the city. Community input meetings will be scheduled over the next few months to gain feedback from the neighborhoods.
“Our approach to winning this prize will not focus exclusively on energy efficiency but will consider a range of challenges to quality of life. As families make hard decisions between food, housing, utilities, and health care, we want to find ways to make it easier for them to invest in their quality of life” said Michael Walton, executive director of green|spaces.
Chattanooga is among a select group of only 52 small- and medium-sized cities and counties from across the country that have advanced to uarterfinal round of the competition.
Officials said, "green|spaces is leading the charge for Chattanooga and believes it is poised to win the competition for the entire community for the following reasons:
"Tennessee is one of the highest consumers of energy in the nation, 33 percent higher according to the US Energy Information Agency. This can be attributed to the discounted rates provided by TVA to the area - 20% less than the national average along with an aging home stock.
"Leveraging the EPB Fiber Optic Network will allow us to see immediate results from actions taken to reduce energy consumption;
"Key organizations will combine efforts to collaboratively focus attention to accomplish the goals of the plan.
"In total, over the two years of the GUEP competition, and our fellow participants have the potential to save more than $1 billion in total energy costs and cut millions of tons of CO2 emissions."
Dr. Slakey remarked that, “the communities we selected are leaders in energy efficiency who will develop innovative approaches that will inspire and enable others to follow in their footsteps.”
To learn more about the Georgetown University Energy Prize and to track the competition’s progress, visit www.guep.org, or follow the Prize on Twitter (@GUEnergyPrize).