Farmington Hills and Farmington Benefit from Participation in Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition
Farmington Hills and Farmington were among 50 cities and counties nationwide that worked to reduce municipal and household energy consumption through participation in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. Involvement in the competition helped each community realize substantial savings and bring greater attention to innovative solutions for decreasing energy usage.
In 2014, the growing sustainability movement in Farmington Hills and Farmington gained strong momentum due to local involvement in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. This resulted in an unprecedented initiative to promote energy efficiency, recycling, and reduced energy consumption. The communities’ extraordinary efforts over the past several years were supported by partnerships with Bosch, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Ecotelligent Homes, Blanket Insulation, Dart Container, and others.
During various phases of the competition, members of the community participated in over 3,000 home energy audits and benefited from giveaways including over 1,500 LED light bulbs, 300 energy kits, 300 solar lights, 50 Smart and Wi-Fi thermostats, over 1,500 reusable water bottles, and more than $2,000 worth of activity passes for “unplugged” activities.
Other positive outcomes from the cities’ participation in the Energy Prize competition included the creation of the Special Services Department’s Unplugged Summer Camps where young campers were encouraged to explore the environment and leave the internet behind. A grant from the Bosch Community Fund, and support from Farmington Public Schools, led to the formation of Family Energy Nights and a two-week STEM Leadership Experience Camp.
In 2018, new sustainability initiatives will include a Styrofoam recycling program at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena and the “FHParks Recycles” program with new blue recycling bins placed next to the current green trash bins in City parks. Visitors will be able to recycle plastic containers, metal containers, cardboard, and other items to keep them out of landfills.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, the City of Farmington Hills will “unveil the trail” and officially open the extension of the Heritage Park Nature Discovery Education Trail that leads from the Splash Pad to the Nature Center. The trail will feature STEM Education Pods, including “Habitat Headquarters” and “Mitten Memories.” Trail activities will educate visitors about storm water runoff, native and invasive plant species, and more.
While Farmington Hills and Farmington did not win the Energy Prize competition, the cities’ involvement created significant community engagement, measurable cost savings, and a widespread awareness about the need to conserve energy. The cities look forward to continuing the momentum and experiencing the lasting impact from their participation in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition.
For further information or for details about the data collected during the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition, please visit https://guep.org/data-explanations/
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