SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 14, 2016) – The city of Claremont is ‘California’s Coolest’ when it comes to sustainably-minded residents, earning first place in the CoolCalifornia Challenge, a competition that pits city against city as residents take action and track efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. Out of 22 cities vying for the title of “Coolest California City,” Claremont captured the top spot earning 2,443,779 sustainability points after finishing second in the 2014 Challenge. As runners-up, the cities of Long Beach and Burlingame earn the title of “Cool California City,” finishing second and third, with 1,223,158 points and 770,114 points, respectively.
“On behalf of the residents of Claremont, I am proud to accept the title of Coolest California City,” said Mayor Sam Pedroza. “This honor speaks volumes to the dedication and initiative that Claremont residents showed throughout the Challenge to reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions. By working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions all year, residents are continuing the hard work needed to help California stay golden.” Claremont enlisted the aid of Sustainable Claremont, a non-profit community based organization, to engage more than 500 households in the Challenge. During the competition, which lasted from October 1 through March 30, participating households tracked energy use, vehicle miles driven, and shared energy saving tips to earn points for their cities.
Collectively, the 22 participating cities engaged nearly 3,200 households to take energy savings actions to reduce their carbon footprint. In total, the participants reported that they completed actions that will save 5,638 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the energy saving actions’ lifetime, equivalent to removing more than 2,500 California homes from the grid or over 1,100 automobiles
from the road for a year.
“We are so appreciative of the effort invested by all 22 California cities in this year’s Challenge,” said Pamela Wellner, Manager, Climate Change Programs for Energy Upgrade California. “The simple ways that participants learned to save energy will have a lasting impact in leading all Californians to implement daily energy-saving habits to lower our carbon footprint.”
The energy saving actions reported are equipment or measures-based actions, not behavioral actions (e.g., turning off lights). The CoolCalifornia Challenge emphasizes long term energy savings rather than savings that occur during the Challenge time period. Participants’ carbon reductions were determined based on an analysis of actual billing data as well as reported completed actions from their energy saving plans that will long outlast the length of the competition.
“This year’s Challenge was impressive, bringing together thousands of individuals in 22 cities from all walks of life in healthy competition to be more sustainable,” ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “It’s encouraging to see the number of cities grow each year, and the CoolCalifornia Challenge highlights the crucial role that cities and households play in California’s efforts to fight climate change.”
All participating cities will receive a portion of a $150,000 prize based on the percentage of their points that will be used to support local sustainability projects. This year’s participating cities included Benicia, Buellton, Burlingame, Claremont, Corte Madera, El Cerrito, Elk Grove, Fairfax, Huntington Beach, Indio, Larkspur, Long Beach, Lynwood, Martinez, Mill Valley, Redwood City, Richmond, San Carlos, San Mateo, San Pablo, Sausalito, and South Pasadena.
Claremont, Long Beach and Burlingame will be honored on April 21 at the Green California Summit in Sacramento. CoolCalifornia Challenge is a partnership between Energy Upgrade California®, the CoolCalifornia.org program at the California Air Resources Board, and the Cool Climate Network at the University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.
About Energy Upgrade California
Energy Upgrade California is a state initiative to help Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources, help reduce demand on the electricity grid, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. It is supported by an alliance of the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, utilities, regional energy networks, local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to help communities meet state and local energy and climate action goals. Funding comes from investor-owned utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. For more information, visit www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org.
California Air Resources Board ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.