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Mayor's Energy Partnership is National Award Finalist

Monday July 27, 2009

National League of Cities to name Awards for Municipal Excellence winners

Louisville’s groundbreaking partnership between city agencies and private businesses to improve energy efficiency – a component of the Mayor’s Go Green Louisville initiative – has been named a finalist for the 2009 Awards for Municipal Excellence.

The National League of Cities (NLC) and CH2M sponsor the awards, which recognize cities and towns for outstanding programs which improve the quality of life in America’s communities.

“This is a great honor for our city and for the many partners who are working with us to make our hometown a cleaner, greener place to live,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “We know no one person can tackle the challenge of improving energy efficiency alone – working with the private sector allows these programs to have a much larger impact.”

Abramson spearheaded the city effort, beginning with an innovative partnership with the ENERGY STAR program in 2007. From there, Abramson reached out to the business community, asking them to take part in the city’s effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those relationships led to the creation of the non-profit Louisville Energy Alliance (LEA), a consortium of city leaders and commercial real estate associations.

Last fall, the LEA kicked off the city’s first “Kilowatt Crackdown”, a yearlong contest among buildings to improve energy efficiency. Nearly 250 buildings have entered.

“Louisville has been a spectacular example of how local governments can leverage EPA's ENERGY STAR program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet energy efficiency goals for their buildings,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief, EPA ENERGY STAR Commercial and Industrial Program. “Through the Louisville Kilowatt Crackdown, city leaders have made energy efficiency a city-wide effort, partnering with schools, offices, healthcare providers, hotels, and others to save energy and protect the environment."

The several programs in the Go Green Louisville initiative have already garnered national attention. The Kilowatt Crackdown was named a 2009 U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards finalist, and Louisville was named a “City to Watch” by the Smarter Cities coalition, part of the National Resources Defense Council. The ENERGY STAR website prominently features Louisville’s efforts, using Abramson’s outreach plan as a template for other cities to follow.

“Louisville’s energy efficiency partnership truly embodies the spirit in which America’s cities excel and welcome the future,” said Donald J. Borut, NLC Executive Director. “NLC congratulates Louisville for its successful efforts to help the community thrive.”

NLC received 192 nominations from cities and towns in 39 states. Louisville was one of 34 programs selected as finalists, divided among four population sizes. Finalists exhibited exceptional public-private partnerships, productive citizen and community collaborations, management of municipal resources, implementation of government policies, project implementation with tangible results, and/or the ability to replicate the project in other cities.

“We applaud the work of these municipal leaders for exploring and implementing ways to better their communities,” said CH2M HILL CEO Lee McIntire. Louisville has followed a path of innovation, focusing on a sustainable life for all citizens.”

The winners of the 2009 Awards for Municipal Excellence will be announced at a luncheon during NLC’s Congress of Cities and Exposition in San Antonio, Texas on November 13th.

NLC partnered with CH2M HILL in 1989 to create the James C. Howland Awards for Urban Enrichment, named in honor of CH2M HILL’s founding partner and first chief executive officer. The program was renamed the Awards for Municipal Excellence in 2005. Now in its 20th year, the program continues the tradition of prestigious recognition. More information about the Awards for Municipal Excellence can be found on the NLC website at

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.