Cambridge is currently a semifinalist for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. The Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP) is a multiyear, multimillion dollar competition that challenges small- to medium-size towns, cities, and counties to achieve innovative, replicable, scalable and continual reductions in the per account energy consumption of gas and electricity.

Participating communities are collaborating with one another to advance energy efficiency for all. Only one community will bring home the Prize, but every community will win. Based on their own projections, individual communities anticipate that they will save $10 million or more by the end of the competition. Nationally, the 50 participating communities are on pace to save over $200 million and over 3.8 billion metric tons of CO2 per year.

Who’s competing?

GUEP invited all cities and counties in the United States with a population between 5,000 and 250,000 to participate. More than 65 percent of the country—greater than 200 million Americans—live in cities and counties of this size, and the innovative approaches that emerge will lead the way for significant change that can impact a majority of Americans.

The 50 semifinalist communities hail from 26 states across the U.S. Not only do these communities come from across the map, they come from across the political spectrum, represent all socioeconomic strata, and include demographically diverse populations. Here is a map of the competing communities:

GUEP Semifinalist Map

Each of the semifinalists have developed multi-year energy savings plans, in addition to assembling and securing signed commitments of collaboration from their local government, electric and natural gas utilities, and many community-based organizations.

What is Cambridge doing?

The City of Cambridge is collaborating with Eversource, business associations, local schools, residents, institutions such as Harvard and MIT, and others to develop an innovative and long-lasting energy saving plan, with a focus on the high tech sector, multifamily buildings, and community solar. See this blog post for more details.

What is the Prize timeline?

The GUEP was formally launched in April of 2014. In January 2015, the Georgetown University Energy Prize announced the 50 semifinalist communities, who will be competing through 2016 to reduce their energy consumption. 10 finalists will be announced in January 2017. The winner of the Prize will be announced in June 2017.

Interested in getting involved?

The Prize is tapping the imagination, creativity, and spirit of competition between cities and counties across the country to develop sustainable energy-saving innovations. You can be a part of it! Check our blog, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with our progress. Contact Meghan Shaw at mshaw@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-5323 to get involved.