Takoma Park Recap & Results

The Competition

Over a six week period, student volunteers competed against one another to see who could complete the most energy assessments for local Takoma Park businesses. Sponsored by the City of Takoma Park, these free energy assessments consisted of an energy efficiency survey and a utility bill check-up.

The Result

Seven student volunteers helped 63 local businesses identify annual energy savings of $92,000, equivalent to 325 tons of carbon emissions offset. Along the way, these students earned scholarships, internships, and prizes including gift cards and resume reviews.

participating businesses

kWh of energy savings

energy cost savings


average energy savings



vision center

Participating Businesses

Artful Framing
Best Nails II
Capital City Cheesecake
Carriage House Cleaners
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Cleaners of Takoma Park
CVS Pharmacy
Dance Exchange
DC Arts Studios
DC Shirt and Print
Dr. Khademi Injury Center
EF International Language Center
Envy Nails and Spa
Fair Day’s Play
Heritage Build and Design
House of Musical Traditions
Ice Pole Keans
Kin Da
Kinetic Artistry Inc.
La Mano Coffee
Liberty Tax
Little Loft
Mark’s Kitchen
McDoris Fashion and Fabrics
Metro PCS
Mogotillo Restaurant

Old Takoma Ace Hardware
Patrick Shoe Repair and Beauty Supplies
Polly Sue’s Vintage Shop
Rincon Cristiano de Maryland
Roda Movements
Roland’s Barber Shop Home Services
RS Automative, Inc
S&A Beads
Salon 2000
Scissor & Comb
Solar Nails
Stutman Chiropractic
Suds Laundromat
Takoma Bicycle
Takoma Park Animal Clinic
Takoma Park Vision Center
Takoma Picture Framers
Takoma Postal and Business Center
The Big Bad Woof
The Covered Market
The Green Commuter
The K Store
The Nature Lab
The Spice Suite
Things From Egypt
Tibebe & Associates, LLC
Takoma Park Value Furniture & Rugs

Business Breakdown

Shop, Shop, Shop

Retail stores accounted for 35% of the participating businesses, the most of any sector.

Small Footprint

The average participating business had a building footprint of 2,800 sq. ft.

Big Savings

The average energy efficiency savings identified per business was 32% or $1,450 per year.

  • Install occupancy sensors in common areas 77% 77%
  • Install LED exit signs 73% 73%
  • Replace T12 and 32W T8 bulbs with 25W T8 bulbs 58% 58%
  • Reduce after-hour interior lighting 54% 54%
  • Replace inefficient single-pane windows with double-pane windows 50% 50%

The Results Were Amazing

Over 24 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 50% or more of businesses.

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

1st Place

Begoña Blasco
Catholic University of America
28 assessments

2nd Place

Chidera Igbokwe
University of Maryland
15 assessments

3rd Place

Emily Oldham
Catholic University of America
9 assessments

Majd Hijazi

4 assessments

Mike Egnor

4 assessments

Elizabeth Bezilla

2 assessments

Charlene Dickens

1 assessment

Student Prizes


The top three students have earned scholarships totaling $5,000 as presented by the City of Takoma Park.

Internships & Informational Interviews

The top two students have earned paid winter internships with Sustainable Takoma Park, while all students will be given the opportunity for informational interviews with Nextility, AtSite, and Community Power Network.

Weekly PowerUp Prizes

Throughout the competition, students earned weekly prizes including a personal resume review by 20 Minute Resume, gift cards to Capital City Cheesecake, and shoes from BANGS Shoes.

'I really enjoyed talking to the local small business owners one on one. It was great to see how much everyone cared about what they could personally do to save energy and help the environment.' - Emily Oldham

'Takoma Park has some of the funniest, most inspiring people I have ever met!' - Chidera Igbokwe

'Being part of Kilowatt Smackdown is great for our school, our organization, our students, our society ... everybody!' - Begona Blasco

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 Montgomery County’s Green Business Certification Program
  • Nextility will help businesses secure lower energy supply rates and green energy through the utility. Nextility can also provide solar assessments for qualifying buildings.
  • PEPCO will provide businesses with various rebates on the purchase of energy-efficiency equipment, including lighting, appliances, refrigeration, and HVAC, helping bring down the cost of upgrades by over 50%.


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.