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Monroe Co. Energy Challenge Selected As Semifinalist In Energy Prize
Updated January 15, 2015 4:23 PM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Monroe County Energy Challenge has been selected as a semifinalist for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Along with 49 other communities across the country, Monroe County will compete over the next two years to save energy in local residences, municipal facilities, and K-12 schools. The winning community will receive $5 million to be used for additional energy projects.

"We're just thrilled to be a part of this effort," said Mike Farmer, Utility Superintendent for the Town of Ellettsville. "It's really brought our communities together."

Partners include both local school corporations, Monroe County Government, the City of Bloomington, and the Towns of Ellettsville and Stinesville. Vectren, Duke Energy, the South Central Indiana REMC and the Utilities District of Western Indiana are also supporting the effort.

"Bloomington's real challenge is going to be our huge number of rental properties. We need to find champions out there who will help us lower energy use in both rentals and owner-occupied homes," said Jacqui Bauer, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Bloomington.

Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas added, "Five million dollars is a huge motivator, and just gives more momentum to projects we've been working on already."

The effort is being lead by a multi-organizational task force as well as a number of subcommittees. The group is still seeking partners to help spread the word, share information on an energy-saving "Task of the Month" program, make improvements in their own homes, or create teams to work together to save energy. Committee members are needed as well.

Both households and schools will be critical components of the effort, and the team urged people across the community to get involved.

"Everyone can do something, even small things, that will make a difference," said Dean Walendzak of the MCCSC.
MCEC volunteers will be at the Jan. 17 Winter Farmers Market, and both homes and volunteers are still needed for an MLK Day weatherization service project on Jan. 19.

For additional information or to follow the competition, please email mocoenergychallenge@gmail.com or call (812) 349-3837. You may also follow the effort on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mocoenergychallenge) or on Twitter (@mocoenergy).



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