Local schools and utilities are slowly becoming involved in the effort to win a nationwide energy conservation competition. This summer Monroe County passed the quarterfinals of the Georgetown University Energy Prize contest. Communities are competing to track energy use and making plans to conserve. Ian Yarbrough, a member of the County Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission, told the Commission September 10th the local gas and electricity providers are mostly on board to help. Duke Energy has contributed to the contest by agreeing to track energy usage, while Vectren, a supposed partner initially, has backed out of its contribution.
These contributions from utility companies would aid in the contest by helping determine hot spots for energy use in the County. Those working on the competition are also in talks with schools, including the Monroe County Community School Corporation. The second round of the competition will be judged in January. The community that wins the national prize will get $5 million to put toward conservation efforts.