Fremont: City competes for $5 million environmental prize, motivating …

FREMONT — As a city competes in a $5 million environmental contest, it has begun spurring residents to reduce hothouse gas emissions and strech other goals in a Climate Action Plan.

Fremont will learn subsequent month if it is one of 10 finalists in a Georgetown University Energy Prize, a inhabitant competition that encourages cities to qualification new strategies for regulating energy some-more efficiently.

Competing in a competition is partial of a city’s internal plan to residence a tellurian issue, pronounced Fremont Sustainability Coordinator Rachel DiFranco.

“It brings a emanate home,” she said, “and helps residents be wakeful that they can have a discernible impact on how a city uses resources.”

Fremont is one of 52 cities national with a race no larger than 250,000 to allege to a contest’s quarterfinal round. The other Bay Area cities to make a cut are Berkeley, San Mateo, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

Fremont adopted a Climate Action Plan dual years ago and afterwards shaped a Environmental Sustainability Commission, whose 7 members are allocated by a mayor.

Fremont also hired DiFranco, tasking her with quarterbacking a Climate Action Plan.

The plan’s tip idea is dwindling Fremont’s hothouse gas emissions by 25 percent within 15 years, between 2005 to 2020.

The city lowered emissions by 11 percent as of 2010, DiFranco said.

With 6 years to go, Fremont continues creation strides to reduce a CO footprint. It has hired SunEdison to implement solar panels in a parking lots of city comforts — a military station, Irvington Community Center and Aqua Adventure Water Park.

Fremont also has commissioned some-more than 2,000 LED streetlights, that have improved light peculiarity and use about one-third as most energy as normal streetlights.

That’s only a beginning, DiFranco said, observant a city will reinstate 14,000 some-more streetlights.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize leaders will name 10 finalists on Dec. 15.

Contest leaders will guard a finalist cities over a two-year period, judging how they use new strategies to boost potency and reduce their energy use.

The $5 million esteem leader will be named in early 2017.

DiFranco pronounced Fremont will govern during slightest 10 strategies to strech a energy-efficiency goals, such as operative with Fremont propagandize leaders to rivet students. Fremont also will partisan “Community Energy Champions,” volunteers who can classify citywide discussions and workshops on energy efficiency.

“We have a unequivocally artistic village that has shown a joining to these issues,” DiFranco said. “We’ll work on ways to rivet residents.”

Win or lose, a competition already has brought together city leaders and residents to whet their concentration on a environment, pronounced Mayor Bill Harrison.

“It’s about bringing people into a tent to make it a group effort,” he said. “It’s about bringing some fad and display people how we can figure a destiny of Fremont in a tolerable way.”

Contact Chris De Benedetti during 510-293-2480. Follow him during Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.

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