Competition Outline

What if communities across the country came together, in the spirit of friendly competition, to significantly raise the bar on energy efficiency?
That’s where the Georgetown University Energy Prize comes in. This multi -year, $5 million prize was born of a mission to tap the imagination, creativity, and spirit of competition between communities across the country to develop sustainable energy-saving innovations.
Through this competition, communities will be challenged to work together with their local governments and utilities in order to develop and begin implementing plans for innovative, replicable, scalable and continual reductions in the per capita energy consumed from local natural gas and electric utilities.
Participating communities will be asked to develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and to demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability over a two-year period. Communities will be judged in part on their ability to:
  • Spur innovative approaches for communities to decrease their per-capita energy usage;
  • Highlight best practices for communities working with utilities, businesses, and their local governments to create and implement inventive plans for sustained energy efficiency;
  • Educate the public and engage students in energy efficiency issues including methods, benefits, and the environmental costs of the full fuel cycle;
  • Increase the visibility of Georgetown University and competition sponsors who are working to facilitate new and creative approaches to energy efficiency.
A city, town or county need not finish first in the Georgetown University Energy Prize in order to win. Every competing community that demonstrates energy savings over previous years will be winners—providing benefits to members of the community not only today, but for future generations as well.
To find out if your community is eligible to apply for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, click here to learn more.

Competition Rules & Data Collection Details

To learn more about the rules for competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize:

To learn more about the data collection requirements each community and utility must meet, read the guidelines above, and then dowload the additional documents below.

These rules were developed with close input from our advisors over the last 2.5 years, as well as the 70+ communities that expressed interest in competing during the soft-launch feedback.
If you have questions about these guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Timeline and PRIZE STAGES

PRE-LAUNCH: July, 2013 - April, 2014 - Letter of Intent (complete)

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. Thank you to all communities who have submitted applications, if you have any questions, please contact us.
STAGE 2: August - November, 2014 - Quarterfinalist Energy Efficiency Program Plans:  On November 10, 2014, each community will submit a detailed Plan for their 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.  

v7.2 Guidelines

Click here to download the NEWLY UPDATED version 7.2 of our competition guidelines, posted October 31, 2014.


Click here to download a form detailing the energy data collection methodologies for each utility.


Click here to download the initial draft of the energy data collection template.

If you have questions about these guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us.