It’s official — Claremont has been accepted into the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition (see GUEP.org video) for the opportunity to win a $5 Million prize! Having successfully completed a rigorous application process, Claremont (the only city accepted within the LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Orange Counties) will compete against 50 other cities nationwide to save the most energy in homes, municipal buildings and K-12 schools over the next 2 years and, at the same time, create the most innovative and replicable initiatives that will provide leadership in energy efficiency to other cities throughout the country. In a strategic partnership with Sustainable Claremont and the City of Claremont, our Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP) will lead an all-inclusive, city-wide effort — The Claremont Energy Challenge — to educate and involve all of our 13,000 households in the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, using every energy efficiency and conservation measure from simple things like behavioral changes and LED light bulbs to major retrofits. We will connect residents to resources, rebates, financing and grants to make energy retrofitting even more affordable, easy, and fun.
Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency to our local and regional economies, Claremont adopted ambitious energy reduction goals in its Sustainable City Plan, providing early regional leadership while garnering several awards to date. With 80% of energy used in our City being consumed by the residential sector, CHERP’s strategy is to focus on educating and involving residential building owners in the available energy conservation and efficiency retrofitting methods, resources and benefits. Since many of these same homeowners also own or work in local office, commercial, and industrial buildings that benefit from similar methods and principles, the program is intended to ultimately affect the entire building stock in our City.
CHERP’s successes to date in Claremont were in part responsible for Claremont’s inclusion in the competition and have already demonstrated an impressive array of benefits to the city including millions of dollars of energy savings for over 250 households as well as a dramatic increase in comfort, indoor air-quality, property values and local jobs.
CHERP and Sustainable Claremont are currently partnering with over 50 local community organizations in order to reach every neighborhood and demographic in the City with this opportunity. We are working with student interns at all 7 Claremont Colleges, several Institutes, and the Claremont Unified School District to foster a true “Town and Gown” collaboration placing students at the center of this educational opportunity. At the Draper Center on the Pomona College Campus, we have created CHERP Unity, an initiative focused on environmental justice issues that will make sure all ages, races, demographics and income levels are included and alerted to available resources. The Claremont Chamber of Commerce, the American Institute of Architects, The Energy Network, the D.O.E. Better Buildings Residential Energy Network, local Real Estate Brokers, the Interfaith Sustainability Council, Pilgrim Place, the League of Women Voters, Edison, and the Gas Co — to mention just a few organizations — are all on board to help Claremont win this prize.
We need your help. We are currently forming our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors to help guide this project over the next 2 years. If you or your organization would like to participate, or if you have questions, please contact either Alexis Reyes, Coordinator at Sustainable Claremont: firstname.lastname@example.org or Devon Hartman, Executive Director of CHERP and The Claremont Energy Challenge: Devon@CHERP.net.
Demystifying Sustainability is an initiative of Sustainable Claremont (sustainableclaremont.org).