By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - You can add another first-place finish to Pittsburgh's trophy case.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the city were awarded first place for the U.S. Conference of Mayors 14th annual Climate Protection Awards.
The award recognizes cities of all sizes that are dealing with the effects of climate change and how their mayors have been working to protect the environment for future generations.
Pittsburgh and Mayor Peduto were awarded the top prize among large cities, meaning cities with a population of 100,000 or more, for their leadership and program with the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium.
WPEC was started by the city in 2008 as an innovative electricity purchasing platform that helped reduce costs for members. WPEC is expected to save its 32 members, which include some of Pittsburgh's largest institutions, an estimated $700,000 in energy costs this year.
Earlier in 2020, WPEC partnered with Direct Energy to utilize 100% locally-sourced renewable energy for all major city facilities.
"The really exciting part of the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium is that it has brought together a critical mass of energy users to reshape our region's energy future," said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. "This broad partnership saves money for our taxpayers, creates local clean energy jobs and reduces our carbon use, today and into the future."
The awards, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, will grant $25,000 to ONEPGH for energy-related investment.
"We commend these mayors and all of the awardees for sustaining their climate efforts and commitments during this most challenging year," said Amy Hill, Senior Director for Walmart. "Amidst this pandemic and all of its disruption and varied impacts, the successful efforts of these mayors are even more impressive given the many challenges before their cities, including climate protection."
Pittsburgh beat out cities such as Cincinnati, Hartford, Phoenix, and Tucson.
For the full description of the event and all the other award winners, check out their website.
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