More than 14 percent of Putnam County households made a pledge to save energy through the 2011 Putnam RISE (Renewal, Investment, Savings and Efficiency) initiative.
The 1,801 participating households did so through a competition among county school corporations to collect the highest rate of energy savings pledges per student.
North Putnam won the challenge and a $5,000 award with 608 participating households out of 1,642 students. Greencastle earned a close second place and a $2,500 award, while Cloverdale finished in third place to earn $1,250.
Kristie Hankins, a second-grade teacher at Bainbridge Elementary School, led North Putnam's efforts by organizing school assemblies and other incentives to encourage students to take action.
As a result, 259 Bainbridge Elementary School households made energy savings pledges, the highest number of any Putnam County school.
"I'm really proud of our students," Hankins said. "They responded with great enthusiasm to help their families save energy and money, and in the end to bring Putnam RISE award dollars to our community schools."
Available at www.putnamrise.org, the Putnam RISE home energy savings pledge offers a menu of options related to heating and cooling, water heating, appliances, lighting and electronics.
The City of Greencastle's Sustainability Commission developed the pledge in collaboration with the Vectren Corp. and other local utility companies and small businesses.
"The children in our schools and hundreds of Putnam County residents have a heightened awareness of how their efforts can make the world a more sustainable place and many homes will be warmer this winter," Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray said. "My sincere thanks to everyone who has made the RISE program such a success."
Putnam RISE is a yearlong energy saving effort made possible by the Putnam County Community Foundation and Vectren Foundation grants. The project includes a school facility energy challenge recognized by Sen. Richard Lugar in June and a Buy Local campaign led by the Chamber of Commerce.
Putnam RISE concludes this winter with Green Home Makeover and weatherization projects to benefit low-income families.
For more information, persons may visit www.putnamrise.org.