"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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PG&E supports Fremont, other cities in $5-million energy efficiency competition

The cities of Fremont and Berkeley were announced as being among 50 cities selected to compete in a national $5-million Georgetown University energy efficiency challenge.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will provide technical support and up to $20,000 in funding for each of five cities within its service territory named as semifinalists in the a Georgetown University Energy Prize, nationwide energy efficiency competition for small-to-midsized communities.

The five Northern California communities — Fremont, Berkeley, Davis, San Mateo and Sunnyvale — were among the 50 cities nationwide selected as semifinalists for the two-year competition, which began Wednesday.

Palo Alto, which is served by a municipal utility, was also selected as a semifinalist.

PG&E funding will support residential energy efficiency efforts of each city’s choosing, including community outreach and low-income weatherization programs. The company will also supply community energy usage data for Georgetown University and the cities to track their progress throughout the competition.

“We are proud to have been an integral part of California’s leadership in energy efficiency for several decades,” PG&E President Chris Johns said. “We look forward to continuing to support local governments in the communities we serve as they work toward a cleaner energy future.”

PG&E participated in the program launch at Georgetown University and an event at the White House, and assisted with the development of the cities’ energy efficiency plans, a key component of the initial application.

The winner will be selected in 2017 on the basis of its efforts to develop innovative, replicable new approaches to community-wide energy efficiency and receive $5 million in funding to continue their efforts.

Over the last three decades, PG&E claims its programs have avoided the release of more than 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, based on cumulative lifecycle gross energy savings. In 2013, PG&E says it helped customers save more than $155 million on their energy bills through energy efficiency programs.

“We’ve always considered sustainability to be one of Fremont’s sweet spots — which is why we are both honored and thrilled to receive recognition and advance to the semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition,” said Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison. “While we are competing with some of our Bay Area neighbors, we want to embrace this opportunity for collaboration and unify our efforts to make the entire Bay Area more sustainable as a whole, and promote energy efficiency for all.”