Charlottesville in Semifinal Round for Georgetown University Energy Prize


City of Charlottesville Press Release:

At a press event in Washington, DC. today, Charlottesville was announced as one of the 50 communities to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize (, a national competition challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink energy use.

Engerize!Charlottesville is the local community campaign to win the competition. Charlottesville has a long history of strong environmental stewardship with a focus on energy and climate issues since 2006. The large network of Charlottesville-based non-profits and community-focused organizations is already showing to be a key local advantage. While Energize!Charlottesville is being coordinated by the City of Charlottesville, the campaign includes over 25 local community partners who have pledged commitments to success and several community-driven initiatives are in development. A full list of partners can be found at and other interested organizations are encouraged join as well.

The competition is judged based on residential and municipal energy use over a two year period. Through it, the City will continue to pursue its successful energy practices and see more savings.

From 2000-2011, the City reduced the energy use of its buildings by 29.5% through actions available to all building managers. These energy savings equated to over $840,000 in avoided 2011 utility bill costs. Through the GU Energy Prize competition, residents can begin help save energy today as well.

Easy ways to participate include:

- Pick one energy saving action to integrate into your household each month (for example, try turning the heat down by 1 or 2 degrees and programming the thermostat to reduce the temperature when you are not home), and
- Identify the most practical and affordable energy improvements that can be made to your home by getting a LEAP Home Energy Check Up.
- Look for the Energize!Charlottesville logo and participate in supporting programs or actions over the coming months.

"Charlottesville, as well as mayors and executives across the county, have told us that this Prize gives them the momentum to accelerate their energy efficiency efforts," said Dr. Francis Slakey, Founder and Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Slakey continued, "these Semifinalist communities are leading the way for other small- and medium-size cities and counties to secure their energy efficient future."

"We're excited to be chosen to participate in the GUEP competition," said Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Dede Smith. "This is a great opportunity to continue reducing our carbon footprint and to enhance the quality of life and affordability of housing for all of our residents. And we're going to win!"

"LEAP is fortunate to be headquartered in Virginia's leading community for energy efficiency programs. We look forward to working closely with the City in the GUEP contest and helping its residents reap the health, comfort, and bill savings that come through energy conservation and home energy improvements," said Cynthia Adams, LEAP's Executive Director.

Charlottesville joins 3 communities from Virginia in this friendly competition to improve energy efficiency for all. Participation in this competition supports the local City Council 2025 Vision, the 2013 Comprehensive Plan, and the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan.

"The competition looks truly like America," said Dr. Slakey, "not only do these communities come from across the map, they come from across the political spectrum, represent all socioeconomic strata, and include demographically diverse populations. Some are paying the highest prices for energy, some have the ambition to be carbon net-zero, but all communities share the goal of transforming America's energy future."

Community organizations interested in helping to develop initiatives or involve their membership are encouraged to contact

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