Huntsville makes semi-finals for Georgetown Energy Prize, needs your help to win

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -   Huntsville Utilities announced this morning that the Rocket City has made it.

We are officially a semi-finalist in the Georgetown Energy Prize.

The competition pits cities against each other to see who can beat their own energy benchmarks by the largest margin.

So why?

Huntsville Utilities Spokesperson Harry Hobbs gives one pretty convincing reason, "Well, there's a five-million dollar prize."

They partnered with the city and the city schools. Both will examine their energy consumption, ranging from types of light fixtures to peak hours.

Huntsville Utilities wants one more partner though.

"We're reaching out to our community," explains Hobbs.

Hobbs adds that he utility company has a really big goal for the next two years of the competition, "We're trying to change the culture."

That actually means really small changes.

Hobbs points out, "One of the simplest things to do is to just turn off the light and only turn on the light when you need it."

If Huntsville wins, the city will dole out the prizes. We hear from Huntsville Utilities some of the cash will go into programs to change youth attitudes toward energy. Another chunk of winnings would go toward helping customers improve their homes, by expanding a relatively new project, which Hobbs details, "We can come to their house and do a home energy audit, and then they can make those adjustments, so their home can be more energy-efficient."

They ask for little changes, and they come back with big promises.

The semifinals actually last for the next two calendar years.

Then they'll announce finalists in 2017.