City of Huntsville competes for $5 million prize to reduce energy consumption

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The city of Huntsville is competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million to develop a plan to reduce America’s energy consumption.

The competition challenges local governments to work together with utilities, schools and residents to develop and implement plans for innovative, replicable, and scalable programs that lead to sizable reductions in residential homes and municipal properties’ energy consumption from the local natural gas and electric utility.

Huntsville Utilities has partnered with the city of Huntsville and Huntsville City Schools to develop and implement a city-wide energy efficiency and upgrade plan during the course of the two-year running competition. The business community will be engaged through the Energy Huntsville Initiative, an mayoral-led energy technology initiative and economic development effort which began in 2011.  The competition began January 2015 and runs until December 31, 2016. The winning city will be that which reduces its energy (electric and gas usage) use most significantly during 2015 and 2016 from its benchmark years in 2013 and 2014.

One way customers can reduce their energy usage is by washing laundry in cold water. Many people don’t know that washing clothes in cold water can help save energy and subsequently lower their utility bill. The cost of one hot water wash is roughly equal to that of ten cold water washes. Hot water washes also contribute to harmful carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere.

Huntsville Utilities asks that you engage in an experiment: wash your laundry in cold water for 60 days and measure what impact it has on your energy bill.