The Atlanta-based Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) is offering $500,000 to the Southeastern city that makes the best proposal for forming a community energy alliance. The goal of the alliance is to retrofit homes and buildings in ways that save residents money on energy and water bills.

Cities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia may submit proposals for the program. "We are creating a five- to seven-year campaign to achieve unprecedented gas, electricity and water savings by retrofitting homes and other buildings and installing efficient and renewable technologies in homes, businesses, schools and industry," SEEA Executive Director Ben Taube said in a statement. "When implemented, the program will work toward the goal of saving participants in the winning city 20-40 percent on energy and water bills."

Proposals are due May 15 and will be judged on the depth of community involvement and support, comprehensiveness of the plan, reasonableness of project objectiveness and innovation. The winning city will be announced on June 20. For information on submitting proposals, go to SEEA's Web site.

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