The Competition

Over an eight-week period, high school students competed against one another to see who could complete the most energy assessments for local Fremont businesses. Sponsored by the City of Fremont, these free energy assessments consisted of an energy efficiency recommendations and cost savings.

The Result

Five student teams helped 482 local businesses identify annual energy savings of $637,000 and annual water savings of 260,000 gallons. Along the way, these students earned cash prizes, company swag, and tours of local sustainability companies.

participating businesses

kWh of energy savings

energy cost savings


average energy savings

Business Breakdown

Eat, Drink, Save

Restaurants and food service accounted for 49% of the participating businesses, the most of any sector.

Small Footprint

The average participating business had a building footprint of 5,300 sq. ft.

Big Savings

The average energy efficiency savings identified per business was 12% or $1,320 per year.

  • Replace T12 and 32W T8 bulbs with 25W T8 bulbs 59% 59%
  • Replace inefficient single-pane windows with double-pane windows 47% 47%
  • Install LED exit signs 47% 47%
  • Install weather stripping around exterior doors 30% 30%
  • Replace halogen PAR bulbs with LEDs 23% 23%

The Results Were Amazing

Over 22 different energy-efficiency recommendations were identified for participating businesses, including efficiency measures in lighting, plug load, building envelope, HVAC, water and recycling. These recommendations ranged from projects with an immediate payback period to projects with a two-year payback. The top five most frequently recommended efficiency measures were applicable to 20% or more of businesses.

And let's hear it for the students...

1st Place

Life Hertz
226 assessments

2nd Place

Team Watts Up
210 assessments

3rd Place

Team Adventure
28 assessments

Bubert Goes Undercover

13 assessments

Team Green Girls

5 assessments

Student Prizes

Cash Prizes

The first place team won $1,000 presented by the City of Fremont, second place won $500 presented by Opterra, and third place won $250 presented by California Environmental Services.


The top three teams have won Tesla company jackets (first place only) and t-shirts, sponsored by Tesla.

Certificates + Service Hours

All participating students have earned official certificates and service hours for their school.

Next Steps

Now for the real fun! In the coming months, Green Impact Campaign will work with the participating businesses to further understand their assessment results and further implement recommendations:

  • Provide businesses with a Green Impact Campaign Certified Business window decal to show their participation and commitment to being a local, sustainable business
  • Assist businesses interested in becoming certified as a green business through the California Green Business Program

Made possible by our sponsors:


Green Impact Campaign (GIC) is on a mission to reduce the environmental impact of small business while better equipping the next generation of climate leaders. We provide university students across the country with cloud-based tools and training to go out and conduct free energy assessments for local, small businesses in their community. Small businesses receive the custom, actionable information they need to make their business more energy efficiency and profitable. While student volunteers receive professional skills through hands-on experience for future impact careers.

Kilowatt Smackdown is our regional competition series where we select one community, town, or city to focus on. We work closely with local universities and partner organizations in the community to host an impactful and exciting sustainability initiative.