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Monroe Co. Energy Challenge Seeks Public Input On Residential Energy Conservation Programming
Updated September 16, 2014 7:02 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Monroe County Energy Challenge, a coalition supported by the City of Bloomington and Monroe County Government, announced a public input session on residential energy conservation.

The Monroe County Energy Challenge recently advanced to the quarterfinal round in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. For the next stage of the competition, the group will establish programs for energy conservation - to reduce electric and natural gas use in municipal county buildings and residences.

On Saturday, September 13th the Monroe County Energy Challenge booth at the Bloomington Farmers'Market was visited by dozens of area residents. They shared how they save energy in their homes and offered ideas for community programs that would help them to further reduce their energy consumption.

To continue the conversation, a meeting to gather additional public input will be held on Tuesday, September 16th at the Council Chambers in City Hall from 4:30 to 6 pm. Residents are encouraged to attend and to share their energy conservation ideas.

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

Residents are encouraged to get involved with the Monroe County Energy Challenge by sharing ideas,spreading the word, participating in the event on September 16th or volunteering to serve on one of the planning committees.

Residents who cannot attend the event on Tuesday can obtain more information via email at mocoenergychallenge@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter (@mocoenergy).

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 Monroe County Energy Challenge entry is the only quarterfinalist in the state of Indiana.

"This is a great opportunity for the city and the county to work together with our utilities and other local organizations to reduce the use of energy throughout all of Monroe County, thereby reducing our carbon footprint as well," 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," said Jacqui Bauer, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Bloomington.

The city-county collaboration includes the following entities, thus far:

  • 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
  • South Central Indiana REMC
  • Utility District of Western Indiana REMC
  • Indiana University Office of Sustainability
  • Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Earth Care

In November 2014, the Energy Challenge task force 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.

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



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