New contest could provide home makeovers to winning Colorado residents

Residents of Boulder County, Colorado can now be eligible to win a free energy-efficient home makeover if they enter a new competition sponsored by local businesses and government.

The Denver Post reports that homeowners who submit their houses to an energy audit by August 31 will be considered for an up to $20,000 in new appliances and other features. Responsible citizens who already had an energy audit over the past year and a half also could potentially win the home makeover.

The contest is part of a collaboration with local businesses and the Boulder County EnergySmart program, an initiative to make homes in the area more energy efficient using government funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The top prize will include an overhaul of insulation, new appliances donated by local businesses, an energy efficient water heater, improved ventilation and cooling systems throughout the house. Winners also received a $4,000 grant to make further improvements.

The contest will also award four second prize recipients, picked at random, with similar upgrades at an estimated value of $10,000.

To win the first place prize, a panel of local officials and professional auditors will evaluate homes to identify the areas most in need of energy efficient upgrades. Residents whose households meet the criteria will be asked to provide letters to the judges explaining why they think they deserve the upgrades.

The program aims to educate residents on how they can save on energy costs even without winning the big prizes by encouraging energy audits, the source reports{this sentence seems oddly-structure, rewrite suggested. Home inspection contractors are available nationwide to show homeowners how they can lower their bills and be more considerate of the environment.