Millions of Americans Start Competing for a Cleaner Energy Future

Georgetown University Energy Prize Selects Field of Competitors for first-of-a-kind National Competition


WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2015) – 50 communities have been selected to compete for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national $5 million competition to rethink the way American communities use energy.

Semifinalist_Map_v8_webFrom the hundreds of communities that were interested in the prize, it is these 50 select communities that successfully: assembled a team, developed compelling and detailed plans, and secured commitments from their local government, electric and natural gas utilities, and community organizations.

“For every competitor, this is a community-wide effort: elementary schools, civics organizations, church groups, businesses, governments, and utilities have all united to help their community build a better energy future, and bring home the Prize,” remarked Dr. Francis Slakey, Founder and Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

The 50 competing communities are distributed among 26 states across the U.S.—from Alaska to Florida, from Vermont to Alabama, from California to Tennessee, and points in between.

“The competition looks truly like America,” said Dr. Slakey, “Not only do these communities come from across the map, they represent the nation’s full political, social and economic diversity. Some are paying the highest prices for energy, some have the ambition to be carbon net-zero, but all the communities share the goal of transforming America’s energy future.”

Local communities have long been the incubators for the practical implementation of innovative approaches to difficult problems. To reduce their energy consumption over the next two years, these 50 communities are trying a large variety of approaches, including:

  • implementing bold new policies;
  • conducting deep data-mining of their energy use;
  • creating novel financing mechanisms;
  • focusing on energy-intensive low-income neighborhoods; and
  • trying radically unique approaches to behavior change, using gamification or the latest methods in social science research—one community is even mobilizing kids as a vector for change by creating a “pester power” campaign.

The following 50 communities have been selected to advance to the semifinal phase of the Georgetown University Energy Prize:

  • Fairbanks, AK
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Calhoun County, AR
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Chula Vista, CA
  • Claremont, CA
  • Davis, CA
  • Fremont, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Aspen, CO
  • Brighton, CO
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Winter Park, FL
  • Dubuque, IA
  • Urbana, IL
  • Monroe County, IN
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Takoma Park, MD
  • Farmington Hills and Farmington, MI
  • Holland, MI
  • Houghton County, MI
  • Duluth, MN
  • Bates County, MO
  • Columbia, MO
  • Fargo, ND
  • Atlantic City, NJ
  • Athens County, OH
  • Oberlin, OH
  • Bend, OR
  • Corvallis, OR
  • Providence, RI
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Kearns Township, UT
  • Park City/Summit County, UT
  • Arlington County, VA
  • Blacksburg, VA
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Montpelier, VT
  • South Burlington, VT
  • Waterbury/Duxbury, VT
  • Anacortes, WA
  • Bellevue, WA
  • Bellingham, WA
  • San Juan County, WA
  • Walla Walla, WA
  • Madison, WI
  • Jackson Hole, WY

This group of 50 select cities and counties who will be competing through 2016 to reduce their energy consumption and are vying to make it into the Finalist round in 2017.

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


About Georgetown University Energy Prize

The Georgetown University Energy Prize aims to rethink America’s energy use by harnessing the ingenuity and community spirit of towns and cities all across America. Over the course of a two-year period, the Prize will challenge small- to medium-size towns, cities, and counties to rethink their energy use, and implement creative strategies to increase efficiency. To compete for the Prize, local governments, residents, utilities, and others will need to work together to demonstrate success in sustainably reducing energy consumption. For more information, visit

About Georgetown University

Georgetown University is the oldest and largest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown, today, is a major student-centered, international research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Washington, D.C., Doha, Qatar, and around the world. For more information about Georgetown University, visit