Fairbanks North Star Borough selected as a Finalist for Energy Prize

Fairbanks North Star Borough selected as a Finalist for Energy Prize

The Fairbanks North Star Borough and its partners, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Golden Valley Electric Association, the University of Alaska Fairbanks-Alaska Center for Energy and Power, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, the City of North Pole and the North Pole Economic Development Corporation have joined together and entered a national energy efficiency competition.

 The Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP) was developed as a competition for communities whose population is between 5,000 and 250,000.  The five million dollar prize will go to the community that achieves the greatest percentage reduction in electric and natural gas usage in residential and municipal facilities.  The Fairbanks North Star Borough partnership has passed into the second phase of the competition and will now submit a detailed energy savings plan due in November 2014.

 Nationwide, energy efficiency is emerging as a key policy solution to address high energy costs.  In spite of the concrete evidence of long term cost savings, energy efficiency remains a “stuck” problem; a relatively small percentage of residents avail themselves of energy efficiency programs. Georgetown University is looking for programs that are replicable nationwide and has a strong K-12 education component.

 Mayor Luke Hopkins said “This is a great opportunity to create sustaining energy reduction plans that will benefit the entire community for years to come. The time is right to engage the community with activities that will create new approaches to solving some of our unique energy challenges. ” The Fairbanks partnership is exploring multiple plan components, many of which will emphasize the impacts of reduced energy usage and tie them to a reward system. The plan will reach out to students in grades K-12 and other residents of the borough. Research has been conducted on which behaviors/activities are the most likely to reduce energy usage and costs.

 Should the Fairbanks partnership make it to the quarter finals of the competition, it will run from January 2015 –December 2016.  Winners will be announced then; the prize money ($5,000,000) can be used for future energy efficiency   efforts. For more information on the Georgetown University Energy Prize national program, see www.guep.org.

 The GUEP local program contact is Nadine Winters at the North Pole Economic Development Corporation, 907-488-4558.

Logo Courtesy of GUEP.