Cooper-Young Wins Green Award by Thinking "Small"
February 2, 2011
If incentive-based competitions are the only way to make people go green, the Cooper-Young neighborhood has gotten the message.
Cooper-Young defeated nearby neighborhood Evergreen in The University of Memphis-sponsored "Smallest User" challenge, a one-year competition to see which community could lower its MLGW bills per household the most.
The Smallest User campaign began early last year as an attempt to carry the green initiative in Memphis.
A committee led by David Arant, U of M journalism chair, took MLGW records from 2008 and compared 2010 usage in Cooper-Young and Evergreen to determine who curtailed energy consumption the most.
The official results showed that Cooper-Young households finished an average of $19.59 below the 2008 total, while Evergreen's homes finished $1.36 higher than the neighborhood's 2008 total.
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"This just shows when people come together as a neighborhood, they can accomplish something. In this case, we're talking about energy conservation," said Tom Chamberlain, director of strategic marketing for MLGW.
The results were announced last week at a sponsored event in Midtown's Playhouse on the Square.
Chamberlain welcomed all guests at the door with tickets for a raffle, energy-saving brochures and T-shirts screened with "Smallest User" in green and white.
Central BBQ sponsored the event and provided free food and beverages for all in attendance. A local folk group, Hank and Nora, performed its acoustic brand of music for the crowd, which was also treated to numerous giveaways and goodie bags.
MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins gave a speech before the award ceremony, saying he was proud of the Cooper-Young and Evergreen neighborhoods for their efforts in the competition.
He compared the Midtown areas to those of East Memphis, citing numerous area codes, some in Cordova and Germantown, where area energy rates are "more than double" that of Cooper-Young.
Cooper-Young resident Joan Foley moved to Memphis from New Orleans five years ago. She said her neighborhood won the competition because of the special group of citizens who live there.
Listen to Foley talk about her neighborhood...
Story by MicroMemphis reporter Brennan Somers
You contact Brennan or just follow him on Twitter @ twitter.com/brennansomers
Watch the Neighborhood Celebrate Win