Madison Residents Win Green Madison Grants in City-Wide Sustainability Game

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 2:41pm

Grants, prizes, energy savings announced at end of 8-week online competition to reduce energy use.

MADISON, WI – December 16, 2015 – Green Madison's first round of the online sustainability game, Cool Choices, concluded in late November achieving cost savings, energy reductions and special recognitions for participants. The online game is part of Green Madison's city-wide effort to reduce energy consumption and win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

More than 850 individual players from over 45 Madison businesses and organizations signed up for the 8-week game. Players formed teams and competed to take the greatest number of sustainable and energy-saving actions. At the conclusion of the game the top three individual players were each awarded a grant to donate to the non-profit of their choice. These grants were sponsored by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and Madison Gas & Electric.

First place winner, Heidi Fleegel, will donate her winning grant of $500.00 to the Madison Police Department's K9 Unit, the Capital K-9s. Second place winner Louie Matthews will donate his $250.00 grant to Sustain Dane. Third-place winner Brenda Femrite will donate her $100.00 grant to the Madison Mounted Horse Patrol.

"I took part in the Cool Choices game to be more conscientious of making better choices (no matter how small) to help the environment. It was exciting to take first place and learn that I’d won the opportunity to donate a Green Madison grant to the non-profit of my choice. It’s a good example of how a simple game can create positive ripples in the community," said Heidi Fleegel, City of Madison Records Clerk.

The top team in the game, the MPD Civilians, won brunch for their entire team at Graze, a restaurant recognized for their use of local ingredients. The second place team earned dinner at Tutto Pasta (a second-year participant in Sustain Dane’s MPower Business Champion program). Both dinners were sponsored in part by the restaurants involved, Sustain Dane and Focus on Energy. Three players also won Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares for participating in the game. The CSA share prizes were donated by Crossroads Community Farm, Vermont Valley, and Wholesome Harvest.

The Green Madison game of Cool Choices also achieved significant cost savings and environmental impacts for Madison. Actions reported during the 8-week game will yield estimated annual savings of more than $245,000, 2,639,372 lbs of CO2 avoided (equivalent to 1,044 car trips from LA to NYC), and 2,541,894 gallons of water saved (enough to fill nearly 4 Olympic swimming pools).

A Green Madison celebration open to the general public will be held on January 8th as part of the Madison Central Library's monthly Night Light celebration. All Madison area residents are invited to attend learn more about Green Madison initiatives that can help save money, reduce energy use, and help Madison compete for the Georgetown Energy Prize. A second city-wide round of the Cool Choices sustainability game will launch in spring 2016. All Madison area residents and businesses are invited to participate.

Find more information on all Green Madison initiatives at:


Green Madison
Green Madison is an effort to reduce energy consumption in the City of Madison. As part of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, Green Madison is competing against communities around the nation to determine who can reduce energy consumption the most. The winning community will earn $5,000,000 toward sustainability initiatives.

Cool Choices
Cool Choices is a Madison-based non-profit offering a game-based approach to reducing carbon emissions and inspiring employee engagement on the topic sustainability. Cool Choices has created verified energy and cost savings nationwide for a wide variety of organizations and communities.

Georgetown University Energy Prize
The Georgetown University Energy Prize challenges towns, cities, and counties to rethink their energy use, and implement creative strategies to increase efficiency. Currently, 50 small and mid-sized communities from Alaska to Florida are competing as semi-finalists to demonstrate success in reducing energy consumption over a two-year period.