Clean Energy for Low Income Communities

Year Complete: 2017
Grant Amount: $40,000
Local Government: City of Chattanooga, TN
Local Foundation: Benwood Foundation

Project Purpose

To implement neighborhood energy efficiency projects with low-income residents through education efforts.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

The engagement in multiple national initiatives, such as those offered through the DOE, gave a framework and impetus to advance efforts and gain results through such programs as the Better Buildings Challenge, Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator, and SolSmart. The City of Chattanooga partnered with green|spaces to educate families through the Empowering Energy Savings Workshops and to complete the “Green Light’ green-business certification. The “Green Light” program helped to identify existing best practices within City operations while pinpointing areas that continue to need improvement, as well as policies that were drafted to ensure best practices were put into place.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Relationships with local place-based foundations were strengthened and maintained through communication. One way this was done was through coordinated efforts to solicit public input and feedback through public input sessions for the development of new or improved public spaces, such as the downtown Miller Park District. Coordination between the City and the foundations served the shared goal of capturing the voices of citizens and providing the best amenities possible to enhance the quality of life for all Chattanoogans.

Additional Information and Resources

Over 900 additional families were educated through the Empower Energy Savings Workshops. The workshops continue to educate families in Chattanooga.