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The Sustainable Behavior Team of the Partnership for a Green City is sponsoring a pilot energy reduction competition between the four partner organizations – UofL, Jefferson County Public Schools, Jefferson Community & Technical College and Louisville Metro Government – to see which partner(s) can reduce energy over the previous year’s energy use. The Lou's Energy Challenge runs September 2017 through March, 2018. We will send out weekly messages for distribution to the city employees and the faculty, staff and students at the schools with behavior options around energy use and reduction. Starting with September’s energy bills, we will track usage and cost to evaluate how behavior change affects our use of energy at work or school. 
We are working with the Louisville Energy Alliance
as a partner to promote behavior change in addition
to the operational opportunities to reduce energy use.


  • 5 - 10% reduction in energy use

  • Improve public health (decrease asthma or breathing issues,
    cancer and pollution from electricity generation)

  • Build community and beautify Louisville Metro

  • Save money

Small Grants

  • Up to $1500 available for teams to start a project

  • Eligibility: Anyone from UofL, Metro Government, JCPS and JCTC

Rewards & Recognition

  • Award ceremony before the end of the school year

  • Multiple awards including students, employees and innovators

  • Most Improved trophy

When you want something turned on, all you do is flip a switch – but how is electricity made?


Coal/natural gas is burned by LG&E to heat water to make steam inside the generator at the power plant. The steam spins a big fan called a turbine. The turbine rotates a big magnet around a piece of wire and creates a magnetic field that electrifies the wire.  The electric current flows through the wire and is pushed out through high-voltage transformers and lines all over the city to your phone/work or school. We should be responsible stewards or our energy use.

Metrics and Return on Investment

The partners spend approximately $52.5 million in energy costs annually:

PARTNER                              ANNUAL ENERGY COSTS     PROJECTED SAVINGS (Up to 18%)

University of Louisville                     $11.7 million                                          $2.11 million

Louisville Metro Government         $18 million                                             $3.24 million

Jefferson County Public Schools    $21 million                                             $3.78 million

Jefferson Community &
Technical College                               $1.8 million                                            $0.32 million


TOTAL ENERGY COSTS           $52.5 million                                    $9.5 million (savings)


Research shows that behavior change can reduce energy costs as much as 18% ($9.5 million) annually across the partners. Even a 5% or 10% reduction would save $2.6 million to $5.2 million each year. Savings are expected to be cumulative, increasing each year, as additional energy conservation activities are added.

Reductions in per-person health impacts (e.g., asthma, cancer), carbon emissions, and urban heat island effects will also be calculated. Research shows that these are strong motivators of energy conservation (Asensio & Delmas 2015).