Efficiency Initiative Led by Knoxville, the Alliance and Other Partners is Finalist for Bloomberg Philanthropies International Award
KNOXVILLE – An energy efficiency initiative led by the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, the Alliance to Save Energy and other partners is among six finalists for the international C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards in the Cities4Energy category.
The awards recognize the most innovative and impactful efforts by cities around the world to tackle climate change. Knoxville’s Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM) joined initiatives in Austin, Copenhagen, Vancouver, Qingdao and Chicago as finalists in the Cities4Energy category, recognizing excellence in building energy efficiency and clean energy.
Since 2015, KEEM has provided energy efficiency upgrades to more than 1,250 lower-income Knoxville families and has educated more than 1,700 residents on habits that save energy and reduce utility costs. KEEM exceeded its goals; participating households are averaging 31 percent annual electricity savings – equivalent to approximately $450 annual savings per family. Carbon emissions per household have been reduced by roughly 4000 tons annually.
“Many low-income residents of Knoxville have struggled to pay utility bills, but energy efficiency improvements and education about energy use are helping families to save money,” said Jennifer Alldredge, program manager for education at the Alliance to Save Energy and a partner in the KEEM initiative. “Wasting energy means spending more money and unnecessary pollution. We’re proud to be a partner to help families save money by using less energy – and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint.”
The education component, led by the Alliance, is one element that set KEEM apart from other retrofit programs. KEEM workshops were open to all local residents; participants attended a one-hour workshop focusing on energy efficiency and home weatherization best practices, and learned about enrolling in and preparing for a home weatherization audit. Workshop attendees expressed feelings of empowerment and partnership in the program; as one attendee stated, the workshop was “something everyone should do.”
KEEM is a partnership between the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Knoxville Utilities Board and the Alliance to Save Energy, and funded through a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority. KEEM prioritizes citizen engagement and empowerment, and has used innovative community outreach methods to reach, teach, and serve thousands of residents.
About the Alliance to Save Energy
Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is the leading energy efficiency coalition in the nation – a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders advocating for enhanced energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy. Our mission is to promote energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and energy security.