Tracy second in Cool California contest
by Joel Danoy
Sep 06, 2012 | 2760 views | 2 2 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Tracy has a firm lead on second place in the CoolCalifornia Challenge — but the city needs a big push down the stretch to win the title of most energy-efficient city in the state.

Tracy had 315,499 points as of Thursday, Sept. 6, while Davis led the group of 10 cities in first place with 380,285. Chula Vista was third with 257,122.

On Aug. 9, Tracy was named the third finalist city in the competition, joining Davis and Sacramento. That distinction earned the three cities $10,000 each to continue their energy-efficiency efforts until the challenge ends on March 31, according to Kimberly Matlock, an assistant planner for the city of Tracy.

The money — which the city is still waiting to receive — will be used to purchase prizes and incentives to encourage Tracy residents who are participating to continue logging their energy use to earn points, Matlock said.

Prizes could include family-friendly activities, such as dinner and movie ticket packages. Challenge participants will automatically be entered into a raffle, and the more points participants earn, the more chances they will have to win.

“We’ve been brainstorming different ways to reward the entire household and not just the one who enters the points,” Matlock said. “We want prizes that also benefit the third-grader who turns off the lights or uses less water when they brush their teeth.”

Despite the point lag behind Davis, Matlock believes Tracy can claim the title, because the city has the most participants signed up — 343, roughly 50 more than Davis or Chula Vista.

New sign-ups can also backlog their energy use to March, but vehicle mileage can only be logged as it is accumulated.

“This (competition) isn’t over yet,” she said. “Keep getting those points, as many as possible, and we can win this for Tracy.”

At a glance

• Visit to sign up. A computer with internet access is available at City Hall, 333 Civic Center Drive.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 09, 2012
I dont want to sound like a turd in the punch bowl but here goes. So, let me get this straight. We believe we can win because we have the most folks signed up? What the heck kind of contest is this? A popularity contest? If we want residents to be proud of being the most energy-efficient city, or even 2nd most, it needs to be based on some sort of rational metrics. How about some sort of weighted average of per capita electricity use, gasoline use, water use, garbage generation, etc? The data could be pulled from the appropriate sources for each city for statistical comparison. Right now this sounds like a meaningless popularity contest that has no relationship to actual efficiency.
September 10, 2012
Hey There Sneaky,

Thanks for the interest in the CoolCalifornia Challenge! I'll do my best to answer your questions. The Challenge actually is a competition to show who's the most energy--and gas!--efficient city. The way residents earn points is by reducing their home energy usage as well as miles driven.

Participants in the Challenge do receive a token 100 points for signing up, but they're so efficient, and so good at getting *more* efficient, that they tend to earn thousands of points by reducing their enviornmental impacts.

Thanks for taking the time to go beyond this article and bring up questions that clearly needed more complete answers! Here's some extra info on the Challenge ( and if you have any other questions please reply here or e-mail me at

- Betsy, CoolCalifornia Challenge Program Coordinator

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