We didn’t win, but Energy Prize effort brought benefits

A community-wide effort to win $5 million by decreasing municipal and household energy usage may have fallen short of the prize, but still made a big impact.

Farmington Hills and Farmington were among 50 cities and counties nationwide participating in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. In addition to both city governments and Farmington Public Schools, partnerships with Bosch, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Ecotelligent Homes, Blanket Insulation, Dart Container, and others supported the effort.

According to a City of Farmington Hills press release, residents 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,” the release noted. “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.”

 

New initiatives this year 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.

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.

To learn more about the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition, visit guep.org/data-explanations/.