By Stefanie Donahue
The Community Energy Challenge rings in its sixth year this summer. First launched in Bellingham, the program now operates in Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties.
Both home and business owners can take part in the program, which aims to reduce energy consumption and carbon pollution.
The Community Energy Challenge was created by Bellingham-based Sustainable Connections and the Opportunity Council to help the community reduce both energy costs and consumption.
The program is estimated to reduce emissions of 6,726 metric tons of CO2 yearly.
In all, the challenge’s participating homes have saved a total of $623,481. The total annual savings for homeowners participating in the program is $623,481. All business that have upgraded through the challenge have saved an annual total of $494,511.
The six-year anniversary corresponds with the Bellingham’s initiative to win a $5 million prize, based directly off the city’s ability to save energy. Bellingham is currently tied for fourth place in the national competition.