Knoxville Advances in $5 Million Energy Prize Competition

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Advances in $5 Million Energy Prize Competition

Posted: 08/11/2014
August 11, 2014 - The Knoxville community has been selected to advance to the quarterfinalist round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million incentive competition to reduce America's energy consumption.

Participating communities will compete to reduce residential and municipal building energy consumption over a two-year period. The City of Knoxville applied on behalf of the Knoxville community to participate, and the City will collaborate with partners such as Knox County Schools' Energy Program, Knoxville Utilities Board, the University of Tennessee's Office of Sustainability, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Social Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED), and other local organizations to make Knoxville a leading competitor.

Mayor Madeline Rogero says she's excited about this opportunity to demonstrate Knoxville's leadership.

"There are so many exciting initiatives happening in Knoxville related to energy efficiency," Mayor Rogero said. "This is a chance to raise awareness for those efforts and inspire residents to save money and improve the comfort of their home by saving energy."

The City of Knoxville's partners also are enthusiastic.

"Our hope is that students will take what they learn about saving energy back into their homes and neighborhoods, spreading the positive message of energy efficiency more broadly in the community," said Zane Foraker, Energy Manager for Knox County Schools. "The Georgetown University Energy Prize offers an excellent opportunity to connect our energy efficiency training and student education efforts with a larger community goal."

KUB leaders also said that they are pleased to have this opportunity to support the City of Knoxville in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. KUB has a longstanding commitment to helping its customers use their utility services wisely and thinks that participation in this competition can only help this effort.

Preston Jacobsen, UT's Sustainability Manager, believes that participation in the competition will "help motivate students to reduce energy use in off-campus housing, as well as find new ways to educate the Knoxville community on energy efficiency."

The City of Knoxville is among a select group of only 52 small- and medium-sized cities and counties from across the country that have advanced to the quarterfinalist round of the competition.

During the quarterfinals, Knoxville will create a community plan to reduce energy consumption in residential and municipal buildings. This plan will build on the City's Energy & Sustainability Work Plan, as well as the efforts of other community organizations.

One area of current momentum is the Smarter Cities Partnership, a collaboration between more than 20 community organizations to develop and implement strategies to improve the comfort, quality and affordability of inner-city homes through energy efficiency.

In total, over the two years of the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition, Knoxville and fellow participants have the potential to save more than $1 billion in total energy costs and cut millions of tons of CO2 emissions.

Dr. Francis Slakey, the Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy and the Co-Director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest at Georgetown University, said the selected communities "are leaders in energy efficiency who will develop innovative approaches that will inspire and enable others to follow in their footsteps."

The City and its partners will be looking for community input and participation to finetune Knoxville's community energy-efficiency plan. The City has posted a Survey Monkey poll for interested community members to share their ideas for making their neighborhoods more energy-efficient - just follow the link below:

To learn more about the Georgetown University Energy Prize and to track the competition's progress, visit or follow on Twitter (@GUEnergyPrize).