STAGE 1: April - June, 2014 - Applications: Using a template provided by the GUEP, communities will submit basic applications. After a review by the Energy Prize team, all credible applications from eligible communities will be accepted as Quarterfinalists and invited to compete in Stage 2 by submitting detailed plans. (A draft of the Application template will be available in early March for review and public comment.)
STAGE 2: August - November, 2014 - Quarterfinalist Energy Efficiency Program Plans: Quarterfinalists will each submit a detailed Plan for their community’s energy-saving program. These should be long-term Plans, with commitments by residential associations, governments, institutions, or businesses in the community to policies and projects that will yield continual improvement. Energy-saving Plans can be a part of a larger pre-existing plan that the community has begun, or they can be new plans that will be implemented specifically to meet the GUEP challenge. In addition, Quarterfinalist communities will have opportunities to apply for seed grants to help them implement their Plan.
Based on the submitted Plans and proposals, the Energy Prize team will select communities who will be invited to compete as Semifinalists in Stage 3.
The Energy Prize team will also award an Energy Plan Certificate of Merit to communities that submitted exceptionally worthy applications but were not selected as Semifinalists.
STAGE 3: January 2015 - December 2016 - Semifinalist Performance Competition: the Semifinalists will compete for 2 years to reduce their utility-supplied energy consumption in a manner that is likely to yield continuing improvements within their own community and replication in other communities. For purposes of this prize, community energy consumption measurements are restricted to energy supplied by gas and electric utilities directly to all residential and municipal customers.
STAGE 4: January - June, 2017 - Finalist Selection, Judging and Awards: Finalists will be selected based primarily on energy-saving performance during Stage 3. These Finalists will be invited to submit Final Reports covering relevant aspects of the community’s plan, performance, and future prospects. The Judging Panel will score the final reports in specific, weighted categories and select the winners based on a combination of these scores and the Stage 3 energy-saving performance.
The highest-ranking community will be awarded first place, with the requirement that the prize purse benefit the community at large in accordance with spending proposed in the community’s Stage 2 Program Plan. Second and third place will also be awarded; these additional winners will receive special recognition and additional benefits, which may include cash purses.