Claremont edges out Riverside in CoolCalifornia Challenge

And we’re back…Claremont has regained the lead in the CoolCalifornia Challenge!

As of Monday, September 22, Claremont has gained 24 new participants and 347,393 points, putting the city in the lead with 2,055,495 points.

Riverside is a close second with 943 participants and 1,900,471 points.

There is only a difference of 155,024 points between the two cities, reminding Claremonters that they need to be diligent in entering their data to maintain Claremont’s lead.

Aiding in the efforts to gain first place are the good people at Sustainable Claremont, who hosted a CoolCalifornia City Challenge Party at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden this past Saturday. The day featured free admission for Claremont residents between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. who brought a recent Southern California Edison electric bill or Southern California Gas Company bill. Sustainable Claremont was on hand to assist residents in getting signed up—or making progress on their entries.

“The shift that I was on we probably got 30,000 points and we helped walk them through the process,” said Chris Veirs, Senior Planner and Sustainability Coordinator for the city of Claremont. ”Some of it to was people who had registered but had never done data. We had two or three laptops going at all times. We were pretty busy.”

Residents have until Monday, September 29 at 11:59 p.m. to log on and earn points towards winning a portion of the $50,000 to be distributed between cities based on the number of points accumulated. This will be the last opportunity to enter energy and vehicle data for August.

“There’s still time, we’ve had this great push but we need to keep moving forward,” says Mr. Veirs. “It’s great news to report to people that we’ve taken the lead but we need to keep up our efforts. It’s a pretty small margin between Claremont and Riverside and you can bet Riverside is going to be pushing hard during the final week.”

Mr. Veirs also wants residents to know that if they’re having difficulty figuring out how to enter their data, there is help available. “Residents can always contact Sustainable Claremont and someone can walk them through the process, they’re happy to help” he says.

Claremont has traded the top spot with Riverside several times over the course of the challenge despite the fact that Riverside has more than twice the number of residents participating in the program.

The CoolCalifornia Challenge was created to encourage voluntary carbon footprint reductions throughout the state and to track household greenhouse gas emissions reductions from city to city. Since April 1, participating households have been encouraged to track their energy and household vehicle emissions and join EcoTeams, groups of households working together to reduce their carbon footprints, and earn points in the program.

The city with the most points at the end of the five-month challenge period will be crowned the “Coolest California City” for 2014 at an awards ceremony at the Air Resources Board meeting in October. In addition, two runner-up cities will each earn the title of “Cool California City,” and be awarded second- and third-place prizes. All cities will receive prize money based on the percentage of overall points earned by participants in their city during the competition.

For more details about how to log and calculate points, log on to:

  —Angela Bailey


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