CoMo Energy Challenge

Year Complete: 2019
Grant Amount: $67,000
Local Government: City of Columbia, MO
Local Foundation: Community Foundation of Central Missouri

Project Purpose

To leverage the community’s competitive spirit and local foundation support to lead the way in energy efficiency and improve the quality of life for all by reducing energy consumption in Columbia households.

Key Lessons Learned

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

It is amazing what data can do to motivate staff and elected officials to work on a project. However data is not what motivates community members. There was much more interest in this project when residents were personally engaged on what their peers were doing for improvements in cost and comfort in their homes. Having those champions involved in the project far surpassed whatever newsletters or Facebook posts were shared.

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

Do not expect that you will have a fully-funded major program right from the first meeting. Multiple years of discussion along with feeling out the priorities of each office were necessary to achieve the agreement that the CoMo Energy Challenge project would align with both strategic goals.

Additional Information and Resources

Read more about the CoMo Energy Challenge and its continuing efforts to partner with their local office of sustainability to reduce the city’s carbon footprint here.