SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will provide technical support and up to $20,000 in funding for each of five cities within its service territory named as semifinalists in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nationwide energy efficiency competition for small-to-midsized communities.
The five Northern California Communities – Berkeley, Davis, Fremont, San Mateo, Sunnyvale –were among the 50 cities nationwide selected as semifinalists for the two-year competition, which begins today. Palo Alto, which is served by a municipal utility, was also selected as a semifinalist.
PG&E funding will support residential energy efficiency efforts of each city’s choosing, including community outreach and low-income weatherization programs. The company will also supply community energy usage data for Georgetown University and the cities to track their progress throughout the competition.
“We are proud to have been an integral part of California’s leadership in energy efficiency for several decades,” said PG&E President Chris Johns. “We look forward to continuing to support local governments in the communities we serve as they work toward a cleaner energy future.”
PG&E participated in the program launch at Georgetown University and an event at the White House, and assisted with the development of the cities’ energy efficiency plans, a key component of the initial application.
The winner will be selected in 2017 on the basis of its efforts to develop innovative, replicable new approaches to community-wide energy efficiency and receive $5 million in funding to continue their efforts.
“Georgetown University appreciates PG&E’s support and commends its leadership on the important issue of energy efficiency,” said Dr. Francis Slakey, founder and executive director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. “We look forward to working with mayors and executives across the county to accelerate their energy efficiency efforts.”
PG&E has been a long-time pioneer in energy efficiency. Over the last three decades, PG&E’s programs have avoided the release of more than 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, based on cumulative lifecycle gross energy savings. In 2013, PG&E helped customers save more than $155 million on their energy bills through energy efficiency programs. A 2014 report by Ceres and Clean Edge ranked PG&E the number one large utility in the country for energy efficiency savings.
PG&E also has 27 local, regional and statewide government partnerships that implement energy efficiency and climate planning programs. The programs are tailored to individual communities, in coordination with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, and have served hundreds of cities, counties, small businesses and non-profit organizations, as well as thousands of low-income residential customers.
Following is a sampling of the enthusiasm from communities in PG&E’s service territory that qualified:
“Berkeley is ready for a bit of friendly competition. We have a legacy of leading the nation in innovation in energy efficiency and are ready to make good on our Climate Action Plan commitments and bring home the prize,” said Neal De Snoo, Energy Program Officer for the City of Berkeley.
“Davis is in an excellent position to win this challenge. We have made some great steps in recent years, but here is our chance to go the extra mile. Most importantly, winning is not just a chance to boost our pride in our local community, it is also an opportunity to demonstrate the kind of sustainable energy-efficient living we need in our planet. We appreciate the support of PG&E,” said Davis Mayor Dan Wolk.
“We’ve always considered sustainability to be one of Fremont’s sweet spots – which is why we are both honored and thrilled to receive recognition and advance to the semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition,” said City of Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison. “While we are competing with some of our Bay Area neighbors, we want to embrace this opportunity for collaboration and unify our efforts to make the entire Bay Area more sustainable as a whole, and promote energy efficiency for all.”
“We are thrilled to be a semifinalist for the Georgetown University Energy Prize and see it as a great opportunity for our community to demonstrate our leadership and innovation in the realm of municipal and residential energy efficiency,” said Rafael Reyes, the appointed Chair of San Mateo’s newly created Sustainability Commission.
“Sunnyvale’s success as a sustainable community is built on strategies like promoting energy efficiency,” said Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Griffith. “This contest is a great way to spark new momentum toward our common goal of reducing greenhouse gases and I’m confident Sunnyvale residents are up to the challenge.”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.