The CoolCalifornia Challenge is a competition between California cities to motivate and reward residents for reducing their carbon footprints and helping to build more vibrant communities.
Participants track driving and home energy use to earn points for being green and triple points for going greener. Each point counts as a raffle ticket for cool prizes and can also help participants' cities earn sustainability funding from Challenge sponsors. Teams of up to 5 households are elligible compete in city team rankings for awards and prizes.
The Challenge is funded by the State of California Air Resources Board and administered by researchers at the CoolClimate Division of the University of California's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.
Cities participating in the 2012-2013 CoolCalifornia Challenge are:
The 2012 Challenge began in April 1, 2012 and concludes May 31, 2013. The program builds on lessons from successful community-based social marketing programs that motivate individuals to take climate action and strengthen communities through peer-to-peer capacity building and leadership.
The competition will take place in two phases. After a brief “warm up” month to get cities familiar with the program, the first phase is called the “Qualifying Round” and will last three months. During the Qualifying Round, cities will encourage residents to sign up for the program at the Registration Page and to begin tracking and reducing their household energy (natural gas and electricity) and motor vehicle emissions.
At the end of each of the first three months, the city with the most points will be entered into a nine-month long “Finalists” Round. Finalist cities will be awarded recognition as “Cool California Cities” and be given $10,000 in seed money. Participating households will be encouraged to join EcoTeams, groups of households working together to reduce their carbon footprints and earn points in the program. Each month a new set of actions that qualify for points will be added to the Challenge. After nine months, the city with the most points will be crowned the “Coolest California City” and be awarded a grand prize.
Cities not selected for the Finalists Round will be encouraged to continue with the program to help residents reduce and their track emissions, earn points and receive raffle prizes. These cities may even outperform finalist cities and earn additional recognition for their efforts, but only finalist cities will compete for the grand prize.back to top
Every resident in participating cities has the opportunity to contribute to the program. Within cities, households and groups of households will be recognized for their contributions to helping make cities green and more livable. These contributions include actions such as tracking and reducing energy consumption and vehicle miles. By signing up for the Challenge and reporting these actions, participants earn points, which further the standing of their city in the competition.back to top
If you fill out the Challenge registration form and see a notice stating that your registration was successful, but do not see the activation e-mail in your inbox, check your spam folder in case it was sent there accidentally.
Be sure to add "email@example.com" to your e-mail contacts lists to ensure that your activation e-mail doesn't get lost in the spam folder.
If after 10 minutes you have not received any activation e-mail, you may have entered the wrong e-mail during registration. Try registering again or let us help -- send us an e-mail describing the problem and browser you used to firstname.lastname@example.org to top
The city with the most points by the end of the competition is crowned the "Coolest California City." Points also earn participants the chance to win prizes from green businesses, helping to stimulate green economic development, and to help local charities by donating points on their behalf. While points are earned through actions taken by individuals at the household level, the reward earned from points benefits not only them but their community and city as well.back to top
There are many ways for participants to earn points. Simple actions such as signing up for the Challenge will earn 100 points, and more points can be earned for simple tasks such as uploading a photo, inviting friends to join, and (coming soon) filling out an online survey. Participants can also earn points by entering information from their most recent energy bill and tracking the miles driven of each vehicle they own. Households earn one point for every pound of CO2 below average California households with similar characteristics (calculated by the software). In the second month and following months, households can earn “bonus points,” which are worth three times the value of normal points, for improving over their past performance. The value of bonus points also increases when participants reach certain goals, providing increasing motivation to reduce energy and transportation emissions. Points are tracked in the online software and count as raffle tickets, which participants can allocate to different prizes, or donate to local charities.
For more information on the points system, please refer to our points page.back to top
The program is designed to integrate with city’s existing sustainability initiatives and support citywide greenhouse gas reduction goals. The Challenge serves as a platform to actively engage diverse populations of residents, acting in multiple contexts (households, peer networks, schools, businesses, at the policy level, etc.), under a shared goal of lowering consumption of energy and emissions of greenhouse gases.back to top
The 2012-2013 Challenge is already underway, but if your city would like to participate in future Challenge rounds, then please email email@example.com with "Adding a City" in the subject line.back to top
The CoolCalifornia Challenge is a collaboration between California government, university and non-profit organizations with support from programs sponsors. The program is administered by the CoolClimate Division of the University of California, Berkeley's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. This program is supported in part by a research contract from the California Air and Resources Board and is a program of the statewide climate action portal CoolCalifornia.org. Participating cities help administer programs at the local level and serve as the primary point of contact for program participants.
The CoolCalifornia Challenge is made possible in part by contributions from Program Sponsors in addition to key supporters including the California Air Resources Board and the University of California, Berkeley's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please see the sponsorship page or contact the CoolCalifornia Challenge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CoolCalifornia Challenge would not be possible without the amazing talents and hours so generously donated by scores of volunteers.
The Challenge thanks our wonderful interns at the University of California, Berkeley headquarters for volunteering between busy class schedules to improve the Challenge experience for participants.
We could not be more grateful for the amazing efforts of coordinated volunteer armies affiliated with local sustainability organizations of the Challenge. You are the right hand of the Challenge mission! Additionally, many city staff members have even donated unpaid personal time to help make the challenge happen. We thank you for going above and beyond to work through the pilot phase with us.
And as a picture says a thousand words, our photographers deserve so many more words of thanks than are available on this page. Please review our Photography Credits page to learn more about our talented and generous photography staff.back to top