Eye on the Prize: Councilors Attend National Energy Prize Workshop

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Thursday April 17, 2014

Since signing the Letter Of Intent for South Burlington to participate in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, City Councilors have been enthusiastically supporting the Energy Committee’s efforts.  To further that support, network with participating communities from around the country, and learn strategies for effective participation, two City Councilors will be traveling to Washington, D.C., April 22 and 23 for the Energy Prize Community Workshop and Launch Event.  Council Chair Pam Mackenzie and Councilor Pat Nowak volunteered to make the trip to represent South Burlington at their own expense.  Joining them will be Kristan Hatfield from Efficiency Vermont, who has been assisting the Energy Committee as they work with partners and the community to develop South Burlington’s Energy Prize action plan.

On the first day, April 22, the Energy Prize Workshop will take place at Georgetown University.  It will cover the technical details of the prize, discuss tips for preparing a strong application and for engaging community members, offer time for networking with participating communities and sponsors, review best practices from previous programs, provide guidelines for working with utilities, and highlight funding opportunities.

The second day brings the participants to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just west of the White House, for a morning discussion on innovation, energy efficiency, and community engagement hosted by Cristin Dorgelo, Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and featuring other members of the administration.  After lunch, the participants will travel to Georgetown University, where the Energy Prize will be formally launched and the list of 43 Letter Of Intent communities will be released.  Speakers will include Ellen S. Alberding, President, Joyce Foundation; John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University; Daniel B. Poneman, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Antoinette Samuel, Dep. Executive Director, National League of Cities; and Francis Slakey, Founder and Executive Director, Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Councilor Nowak says about the event “I am truly excited about South Burlington entering the competition and by attending the launch in DC we will learn best practices, funding possibilities and information to ensure we are able to maximize our efforts toward greater energy efficiencies for our city... (and possibly win the competition)!  But the added benefit of attending will be the interaction and collaboration we can experience with other community leaders and energy experts at the conference both while in the sessions and afterward.  I’m hoping to develop connections with these leaders and experts that will prove beneficial to South Burlington.”

Pam, Pat, and Kristan will return to Vermont equipped to help South Burlington prepare a strong application and perform well in the competition.  A synopsis of the workshop will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Other Paper.  Any questions, comments, or suggestions about South Burlington’s participation in the Energy Prize can be sent to Keith Epstein of the Energy Committee at keithepstein@gmail.com.

SOURCE: By Keith Epstein, SB Energy Committee