Monday, December 20, 2010

Smallest User Contest Update

WMC-TV recently did a story on our Smallest User Contest currently going on between Cooper Young and Evergreen Historic District...

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two Memphis neighborhoods are competing to become the smallest user of energy.

Gretchen Stroud thought she had an energy efficient home in the Evergreen Historic District.

"I had no idea that the cracks in my crown moulding were sucking the heat straight out of the house," said Stroud.

Stroud learned how much energy she was wasting when she agreed to compete in an MLGW contest called "The Smallest User."

"The message was, who can save the most energy over this time period," said Glen Thomas with MLGW.

The Evergreen Historic District and the Cooper Young Historic District competed to see which community could save the most energy in one year.

In Cooper Young, Debbie Sowell replaced her second story windows.

"We've gutted a few rooms," said Sowell. "When we did that, we added extra insulation."

Stroud made a number of small changes to her Evergreen home. She filled the cracks on the heating unit and around the duct work, and placed foam insulation on the attic door.

For months, the Evergreen team was in the lead. Cooper Young recently came from behind and looks like the clear winner by the end of the year.

"Through November, Cooper Young has saved an average of 12.7 percent," said Thomas. "Evergreen's usage is actually up a little bit."

Stroud may not be the smallest user, but she said she is still a winner.

"I would say that we've seen about a $20 to $30 per month drop in our bills," said Stroud.

Stroud said she got most of the money spent on repairs back from a TVA grant program.

Here are some other highlights of the program:

• Through November, the leader is Cooper-Young Neighborhood which saved an average 12.7% less per customer

• Evergreen saw an increase of 4.1% spent $1.36 more in 2010 for gas and electric; as opposed to 2008

• The Smallest User Contest is a contest between Cooper Young and Evergreen Communities to see who can reduce their energy the most in 2010

• The contest is a partnership between MLGW, University of Memphis and the Community Foundation

• The two neighborhoods received a grant from U of M and the Community Foundation in order to conduct the contest

• The neighborhood that saved the most energy will be honored with MLGW’s first Smallest User Award in January

• A reception will take place in January 2011 for the competing neighborhoods

• The contest began January 01, 2010 and will officially conclude December 31, 2010

• The contest did not include businesses, just residential customers

• The two neighborhoods were chosen due to location inside Memphis city limits, the fact they were close geographically, similar in types of homes, and active associations

• The contest involves about 3,000 residents in each neighborhood, where Data will be implemented from every residential customer in each neighborhood

• Data was measured from all residents on a monthly basis. The data compares 2008 usage because certain MLGW energy saving programs were implemented in 2009 that might skew the results

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