A Student-Led Energy Assessment Competition to Save DC Businesses on Energy


As of March 17, 2015, Green Impact Campaign, Think Local First DC (TLF), and Nextility is kicking off the first-ever campaign to save small and local DC businesses money on energy. Called Power to Save, the effort provides businesses with simple, easy ways to immediately reduce their energy costs and enhance their sustainability.

Student groups from five DC universities — American University, Catholic University of America, George Washington University, Georgetown University and Howard University — are competing to do as many energy assessments as possible between now and Earth Day, April 22nd.

“I’m really excited for Power to Save. It’s a great way to get hands-on, real-life experience doing energy assessments and sustainability consulting,” said Cara Blumenthal, a graduate student studying Sustainability Management at American University.

“As a student, I will definitely be able to use this experience in job interviews,” she added. “Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people, engage with local businesses and make real carbon emission reductions in DC!”


The thirty-minute assessments are free to businesses and include both an energy-efficiency survey and utility bill checkup. Participating businesses will receive custom efficiency recommendations as well as options to quickly lower their energy costs through local incentives and utility rate reductions.

“The climate change crisis is one that needs action now and a long-term systemic solution,” explained Daniel Hill, GIC’s Co-Founder. ”Power to Save will help existing small business owners reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint, while better empowering our next generation of business leaders by understanding sustainable business through real-world experience and chances for paid internships.”


Green Impact Campaign will be training and coordinating the student groups to conduct and deliver the energy surveys  using their cloud-based energy survey tool. The energy startup Nextility is providing complimentary utility bill analysis and rate comparison. Based on each businesses individual needs, they may also be eligible for energy-saving rebates and financing incentives to cut costs and go green.

Student group champions will be recognized with awards, including paid internships at sustainability firms, cash prizes, and various local business sponsored prizes, during a ceremony party on Thursday, April 23. Additionally, champions will be announced at the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, Saturday, April 25, which is being co-organized by TLF’s musical counterpart, Listen Local First.

Learn more about the initiative at powertosavedc.com