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Madison Competes For $5M Energy Efficiency Prize

City Officials Urge Residents To Get Involved Through Interactive Tools

Shamane Mills/WPR

Madison is vying for a $5 million prize designed to increase energy efficiency in a nationwide competition sponsored by Georgetown University.

Officials have launched new initiative called Green Madison to compete for the prize, along with other medium-sized cities. The contest seeks to get residents and businesses involved in reducing energy use.

Council President Denise DeMarb urged people to play an online card game called Cool Choices to track energy use.

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“Every resident of the city can be involved in this game. Every business can be involved in this game. We rack up points and we (can) win,” she said.

According to Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, the city can save a million dollars each year by reducing energy use 15 percent.

Madison officials expect stiff competition. Among those vying for the prize are Berkeley, California and Bend, Oregon.

The prize money must be spent on energy efficiency programs that reward the community as a whole and provide for the long-term implementation of those plans.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize does not give preferential treatment to renewable energy. Rather, it’s focused on energy efficiency. City officials said the competition organizers deliberately chose to avoid issues that can be divisive and can detract from the overarching goal.

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