Update March 2016: You may have noticed that our rankings have been fluctuating - we went from being ranked #13 to #10 in the space of a month! The reason for this is that there are communities participating in the GUEP that are still submitting or correcting data, so our ranking is very dynamic - it can easily change from week to week and could change based on incoming data from Georgetown University. Rankings are not completely finalized until early 2017.
The overall goal of the Lose-A-Watt Energy Prize is to reduce energy usage in the Fort Collins community over the course of two years. To establish a baseline, the competition uses energy use data from 2013 and 2014, and competition years are 2015 and 2016. The 48 competing communities are challenged to reduce their residential and municipal energy usage, and the top 10 communities are entered in the semi-finals, where more qualitative metrics are applied to determine the winner of the $5 million prize.
The dashboard rankings are based on the Georgetown Energy Prize’s “Overall Energy Score,” which calculates each community’s reduction in overall energy use in 2015, compared with the same period in 2013 and 2014, and adjusts it for population, weather, and ‘site and source energy.’ Decreased energy use appears as a negative number, while increased energy use appears as a positive number. How the score is calculated:
- What’s measured and what’s not: The prize only measures municipal and residential energy use. Transportation is not included. Commercial building energy usage also doesn’t count for the prize. However, any energy used by municipal-owned buildings, parks, infrastructure (such as streetlights and parking garages) goes into the overall energy usage numbers. This also includes K-12 schools within city limits, so part of the overall campaign is to engage students and teachers in energy saving tactics for school and home.
- Population and Weather Normalization: To provide fair competition among communities, Georgetown takes the raw data reported by municipalities and normalizes them for number of residents and weather. GUEP calculates energy use per household based on the number of residential utility bills issued, to take population fluctuations into account. Weather normalized energy is the energy a building would have used under average conditions, which ensures that cities subjected to hotter-than-average summers, or colder-than-average winters, aren’t put at a disadvantage.
- Site Energy and Source Energy: Source energy is a calculation of energy consumption based on impact of the production, transportation, and delivery of the energy source. This allows Georgetown to calculate the overall impact on natural resources required to power a building and provides a full picture of energy efficiency. For example, a building heated exclusively by a wood stove and fireplaces may have a vey low natural gas bill, and wood is cheap, resulting in low site energy. Source energy takes into account overall impact of the building’s heat source. GUEP uses source energy to calculate dashboard numbers because it is considered the best way to assess all impacts of energy consumption. Raw site energy data (natural gas and electric bills) are reported to Georgetown, where the overall energy score is calculated taking source energy into account.
The dashboard shows all 58 communities, the amount of energy saved, the amount of CO2 offset over the first two quarters of 2015, and other relevant information. Fort Collins is ranked 12th out of 58, and we need your help to make it to the top 10 in 2016, so help us today, and Lose-A-Watt!