Energy Savers Network(ESN) – Help People, Help the Planet.
Mission: Decrease energy consumption, monthly bills, peak demand contribution and carbon emissions for lower-income residents of Asheville and Buncombe County. Strategy: Recruit, equip, and deploy a volunteer army to provide no-cost assessments, upgrades, coaching, and referrals. Volunteers will:
- Provide low cost, simple installation, improvements for about $200 per family, saving about $200 per year in energy bills.
- Install measures including duct sealing, air sealing, water heater and pipe insulation, LED lighting, attic access insulation, custom storm window inserts, clotheslines and low flow showerheads based on needs determined during the assessment.
- Spend about 20 man hours of unpaid labor per home.
- Coach clients on energy efficient behaviors. Promote no-cost Duke programs.
- Refer clients to community partners for more extensive upgrades, including financing sources, Community Action, Mountain Housing, Duke Energy etc.
- Build client and volunteer skills, energy consciousness, and community. Have fun.
- Recruit their friends, donate money, find more clients, and help us build our impact.
Can volunteers do this? Already in 2017(as of 5/10), starting from zero, ESN has completed 19 homes with another 18 in progress. We have engaged over 500 volunteer hours with 47 separate volunteers.
And consider that local Habitat for Humanity and Manna Food Bank each employ over 63,000 man hours of volunteer labor annually. If ESN, over several years, could reach less than one half of either, or 30,000 hours, we could reach 1,500 homes per year. At that rate for 20 years, ESN could save clients $6,000,000 or more per year, and reduce peak by over 30 MW, through direct measures alone. The impact would be even greater including the growth in community energy saving skills and referrals.
How can community leaders, particularly EITF members, help?
- As individuals: volunteer, donate, and refer people to us for service.
- Help us find clients. Perhaps allow us to contact LIHEAP recipients.
- Promote us for volunteering opportunities in churches, corporations, etc
- Promote formation of semi-autonomous, but networked, groups and teams.
- Provide funding for materials. Our need as a pure volunteer organization is about $20,000 per year to help about 100 clients. As we grow beyond pure volunteer, we will need more. To ramp to 1,500 homes a year, we will need aggressive funding growth.
- Provide funding for paid staff. To grow much beyond 100 clients or so per year, we will need ½ FTE staff addition, plus other funds for facilities, etc.
- Incorporate ESN in overall EITF messaging and advertising (Shelton Group).
- Secure meetings with appropriate Duke people so we can leverage existing and future Duke programs into our operations and funding. Coordinate ESN with Home Energy House Call, Duke’s rebate program, and Neighborhood Energy Savers.
- Provide leadership, guidance, and direction to improve ESN’s operations over time.