How Would the $5M Be Spent?

Even with many innovative measures in place to help conserve energy, the U.S. still wastes more than half the energy it produces because of inefficiency.Georgetown University Energy Prize

The Georgetown University Energy Prize enables communities through financial opportunities, education and technical resources to help develop new measures that will create far-reaching benefits that will last into the future. Fort Collins is participating in the two-year energy efficiency competition with the goal of doubling the City's energy savings in 2015 and 2016. So, if Fort Collins won, what would the City do with the prize money? To clarify, the City couldn't just spend the money any way it chooses – there are restrictions for use of the $5M prize money:

  • It must be spent on energy efficiency programs that reward the community as a whole and provide for the long-term implementation of those plans.
  • Prize money cannot be given to individuals. For example, it cannot be used to reduce taxes or for items that aren't related in some way to energy efficiency.

Fort Collins would use the $5M prize money to advance community energy efficiency. The City would also collect input from the community in various ways to ensure that the money is being used in ways that the community desires.

In the meantime, how would you like to see the money used to improve Fort Collins' energy efficiency? Let us know in the comments!


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  1. Use the money to offer higher rebates and payments for solar energy returned to grid by residential customers. Having more rebates and payments of energy returned to grid creates more desire and cost savings for customers looking for implementing solar energy. This would be an investment that would create more solar energy users which in the long term saves more energy than a single project (ie replacing light bulbs should be part of the city budget regardless if Fort Collins wins the prize. even if it's not all at once). Invest instead in long term energy savings that rewards and benefits the community members that take the steps to actually save energy.

  2. The $5 million is nearly enough to convert the cities street lights to LED. In 2014 the city estimated this to be $6.2 million and costs are continuing to fall. By the time this prize money is distributed it may be enough to cover all the cost. If not a the rest could be allocated from the general fund or come from funding set aside for CAP (Climate Action Plan).

  3. I would like to see a more comprehensive distribution of LED light bulbs to the community. I also think it is important for the city educators to inform people to use the LED's in the fixtures that are on the most like porch lights for example.