By Barbara Kessler

Hundreds of folks in San Francisco will be bundling up in sweaters and reading by CFL light bulbs over the coming weeks sf_climate_challenge.jpgnow that the inaugural San Francisco Climate Challenge has kicked off. The contest, the brainchild of San Francisco lawyer Paul Scott, works a little bit like the Biggest Loser, only with kilowatts instead of pounds. Teams of friends, neighborhood groups and even schools are competing to see who can shave the most out of their monthly electric bills compared to last year. The biggest “losers” will win prizes.

“I hope that people discover how easy it is to cut back on their use of power. We’re accustomed to leaving lights on, using incandescents instead of fluorescents and leaving the TV on as companion noise,’’ Scott said. He envisions that SFCC will spread to other cities and prompt everyone — participants and observers — to look more critically at how they can reduce household energy use, which accounts for about 20 percent or more of greenhouse gas emissions.