Fourteen cities representing nearly four million citizens have signed up to participate in the Energy Freedom Challenge (EFC), a race to encourage U.S. cities to achieve independence from foreign and environmentally harmful energy sources, in its first year.
The race challenges cities to satisfy over half of their electricity needs using clean energy resources, such as wind, solar and bioenergy. They will compete in four different categories, ranging from populations under 50,000 to those over 500,000. The ‘founding cities,’ which are the cities that are involved in the first year, include Boulder (Colo.); Sacramento, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Alameda and Willits (Calif.); Ann Arbor (Mich.); Albuquerque (N.M.); Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio); Portland and Eugene (Ore.); Austin (Texas); and Moab (Utah).
‘Our community is pleased to take part in this Energy Freedom Challenge, and we would encourage all communities and community leaders to participate,’ says David Sakrison, mayor of Moab. ‘Cities, no matter how small, can make a difference.’
Solar Austin – a clean energy advocacy group located in Austin – oversees all business and management aspects of the EFC, while the Union of Concerned Scientists – a national nonprofit – defines all technical aspects of the challenge. Participating cities will be ranked based on their annual tracking reports which show electricity purchases by megawatt hours, type of resource and method of purchase.