Kilowatt Smackdown Benefits Small Businesses and Local Students


Free Energy Assessments Help Businesses Lower Operating Costs

Bend, OR —The Bend Energy Challenge team is partnering with Green Impact Campaign to bring FREE energy assessments to small businesses as part of the national Kilowatt Smackdown competition. Twenty COCC and OSU-Cascades students have signed up to put their knowledge to use by performing these assessments!

Green Impact Campaign’s Kilowatt Smackdown is a nationwide competition where students compete against one another to complete the most energy assessments at businesses in their community. Students gain skills, earn prizes, and help local businesses save energy. The competition runs October 2 – November 23, 2016.

“Small business can cut their energy consumption by 15-20% through simple, low-cost energy-efficiency upgrades,” says Kim McClain,Project Coordinator for the Bend Energy Challenge. Keeping expenses under control is important to business owners, and using electricity and water wisely can lower utility bills. McClain works with several local businesses that are proactively looking at energy efficiency as a way to cut costs. Some of our local businesses have seen a 40% decrease in electricity just by changing all of their lighting to LED light bulbs. The City of Bend reduced energy consumption by 40% in their Franklin Annex by adjusting thermostats and making sure temperature setbacks were in place after hours and on weekends. Energy assessments can identify issues and offer opportunities for improvement like these. Even if you rent your office space, there are simple actions you can take now – AND passing information on to your building owner may result in important action being taken.

Using a cloud-based auditing tool that steps the student through the process, these energy audits are free to small businesses, and the small businesses receive custom, actionable information to make their business more energy efficient and profitable. What a great way to start saving money on your utility bills PLUS help local students gain marketable experience and confidence while getting the satisfaction of being part of something bigger! And the Bend Energy Challenge has upped the ante with additional scholarship money for our local students, and is extending the local competition through December 18th with local tuition scholarships available to the top two producing students here in Bend.

Bend’s current 11th place standing among 50 communities competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize was part of the impetus behind bringing the Kilowatt Smackdown to Bend. McClain states “to win the energy prize, the competition looks at a variety of criteria, including how well our campaign reached out to businesses and our community as a whole.” These free energy assessments expand the reach into the business community, and give business owners a game plan for lowering utility costs.

If your business has fewer than 50 employees, and you are interested in finding out how to reduce your operating costs through energy efficiency with a FREE energy assessment, please contact Kim McClain at or 541-385-6908 x12.

About The Bend Energy Challenge
The Bend Energy Challenge is a project of The Environmental Center, a Bend nonprofit organization that is leading the local team effort in the national Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. The Energy Challenge is a collaborative effort of local and state government, the energy utilities that serve our community, local schools, businesses and nonprofits, and statewide energy organizations. For more information, visit or contact Lindsey Hardy at 541-385-6908 x11 or

About Green Impact Campaign
Green Impact Campaign (GIC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to better equip the next generation of climate leaders while reducing the environmental impact of small businesses.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. Student volunteers receive professional skills through hands-on experience for future careers as climate change makers. In the process, small businesses receive the custom, actionable information they need to make their business more energy efficient, profitable, and environmentally sustainable.For more information, visit or contact Daniel Hill, Co-founder and President, at

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