We hear about it all the time — continue to use fossil fuels as we are now life on earth is going to change for the worse, and we don’t have much time to prevent it. What can you and I do? What can towns like Claremont do? That’s what Georgetown University is asking. They challenged 50 cities across the United States to come up with the best answer and win a $5,000,000 prize. Claremont is the only city competing in the Southland where half the population of California lives. We call it the Claremont Energy Challenge — CEC — and we are going all-out to win by reducing gas and electricity use in homes and schools through 2016, and most important by being innovative and showing others what they can do. Every one of us can be a part of this, and we need your help! You don’t even have to keep track of your energy savings – the gas and electric utilities will do that for us.
CEC is a project of Sustainable Claremont, being directed by Devon Hartman in partnership with CHERP, the City, and more than forty other organizations. The innovative CHERP initiative – the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project – started here in Claremont, has won national recognition and is being replicated in other cities as a way to conserve energy where it is used most — in buildings. And it’s win, win, win — saves money, homes are more comfortable, property values increase, and it helps with global warming. Start with simple things like using energy efficient appliances and LED light bulbs, then make your home easier to heat and cool by improving insulation and sealing air leaks, and finally you can use sunlight to generate electricity and heat water. Rebates and other incentives are available. We want to everyone in Claremont to know what they can do and be able to participate. To learn more visit our website, ClaremontEnergyChallenge.net. There you join with Claremonters who are taking action, find a calendar of informational workshops and neighborhood coffees, and find more information. You can request a sign for your yard showing you are helping with the Challenge and saving energy. Or if you would like to do even more you can sign on to help with Walk The Town, our very ambitious project with a goal of visiting every household in Claremont with information on what can be done to save energy, help with the Challenge, and learn about CHERP and Sustainable Claremont.
If you would like to keep track of your home energy use we have a great resource for you. CEC has been granted $50,000 for an on-line program that will give Claremont residents twice a month reports on energy used, and time-of-day usage that helps find ways to further reduce energy consumption. It’s called Home Energy Analytics — HEA. Just go to CHERPHEA.com for that great resource.
In the fall Claremont will again be in a CoolCalifornia Challenge, the exciting competition where last time we won a Cool City award and $23,000 for having Claremonters sign up and keep track of their energy use. This will be a great addition to our Claremont Energy Challenge, a perfect opportunity to use the HEA data, and fun — as it was last time.
Demystifying Sustainability is an initiative of Sustainable Claremont (sustainableclaremont.org).