Sustainable Warwick brought the 10% Challenge to the Town of Warwick and its three villages of Warwick, Florida and Greenwood Lake. Public launch at the Albert Wisner Library featured a workshop with Dr. Bill "Ask the Energy Doctor" Makofske, long-time leader in SW and Professor Emeritus of Physics at Ramapo College.
Realizing that precise before-after measurements are elusive, the community framed its one year campaign as an encouragement to "cut some form of your energy use 10% and tell your friends about it."
As a hub of community involvement as well as energy use, the Warwick Valley Central School District was a key focus for the 10% Challenge. The District was able to use funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to cover the salary of science teacher Ed Sattler for a school year, allowing Ed to serve as community energy educator and strategist. He helped guide the school system into its second energy performance contract to save energy and pay for the cost of services through those savings. He assessed one site for a possible wind installation - it looked good but the numbers didn't quite work. He created an information portal to energy improvement resources and worked with students to create an inspiring video on the realities of home energy audits and saving.
Sustainable Warwick did follow the recommended sequence of starting with general energy efficiency outreach and then building into one or more signature projects that could help reduce the whole community's footprint. Those special projects included the planting of an entire orchard on town property, won by crowdsourced fundraising and New York State's "Trees for Tribs" program; and also a discount on bulk-ordered composters for residents.
Finally, realizing the work of energy efficiency outreach to households was just beginning, Warwick took guidance from the exciting Energize! program which motivates people through testimonies of neighbors and friends, as well as by incentives including cash prizes. The community's competition to enroll households in energy assessments and upgrades continues through June 14, 2013.