Are you a Berkeley resident who has devised some very creative ways to reduce your electricity consumption? Do you typically spend less than $10.00 on electricity each month? If so, you may qualify to enter the City of Berkeley’s new energy conservation contest, "Berkeley Unplugged".
There are several categories from which Berkeley residents may win. Judges are looking for Berkeley residents who have reduced their energy consumption by at least 40% from last January, or who consume less than 3.8 kilowatt hours per day, or who have devised successful energy conservation strategies, from using power strips for turning off remote-controlled appliances such as TVs and VCRs, to installing solar panels or windmills.
Ten of the selected contestants will receive Certificates of Achievement from the City of Berkeley. Each will also receive a $75.00 Gift Certificate for energy-conserving products from the Berkeley Conservation & Energy Program (BC&E), including compact fluorescent lamps, pipe insulation, torchiere lamps, programmable thermostats and weather stripping. BC&E products are available at wholesale prices from a variety of locations, including all Berkeley Farmer’s Markets, the Ecology Center on San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods Market, Mi Tierra Foods and Mi Ranchito Bayside Market on San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley Natural Grocery on Gilman St., the Sierra Club Bookstore, Truitt & White Lumber Company, and Bolfing’s Elmwood Hardware on College Ave. These retailers have agreed to supply BC&E products at below-retail prices to help people save both money and energy.
To enter the contest, have your energy bill for the month of January and go to www.ecologycenter.org/BerkeleyUnplugged and use the online form. The contest ends March 20th, and prizes will be awarded at Berkeley’s Earth Day celebration on April 20th.
Many people saw this as the catalyst needed for developing renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy. President Carter installed solar hot water panels on the White House roof, and the fledgling renewable-energy movement began in earnest.