Wichita All it takes is a little competition to light the energy-saving spark in six Kansas communities.
The Climate and Energy Project is sponsoring a contest to see which of the communities — Mount Hope/Haven, Kinsley, Quinter, Merriam, Salina or Wellington — can save the most energy in a year.
The Climate and Energy Project, a nonprofit organization that is trying to make the Midwest more energy efficient, chose the six communities because utility companies identified them as places with high energy usage.
Mount Hope and Haven were paired because they share the same school district.
The winning community gets to choose an energy-saving prize: a solar panel for a city building, a wind turbine for a school or $10,000 to use toward an energy efficient project for the city.
Kansas does not rank very high in energy efficiency, said Dorothy Barnett, director of statewide relations for the Climate and Energy Project. The contest, she said, is a way to show Kansas communities that it is not painful to save energy.