ReEnergize Ambassador Program 2014-2015
Program Area: Ambassador Project, ReEnergize
Topic: Community Engagement, Data Collection, Education, Education & Training, Energy Efficiency
Year: 2014, 2015, Current
Neighborhood: Hazelwood, Homewood, Millvale, Uptown
ReEnergize Pittsburgh is a coordinated coalition based effort to increase demand for energy efficiency services throughout Allegheny County. The ReEnergize Pgh Ambassador Program has been the primary outreach arm of the initiative and has engaged over 14 communities throughout the Pittsburgh area.
The 2014 ReEnergize Pgh Ambassador Program partnered with three Pittsburgh communities as a part of a neighborhood vs. neighborhood energy efficiency challenge.
More than half of the homes in Pittsburgh were built over 70 years ago. Since then, building standards have improved, and we have become more aware of and educated around energy efficiency. For the 2014-2015 round of ReEnergize Ambassadors, each neighborhood had a team of 3 Ambassadors who conducted grassroots outreach in their communities. Ambassadors educated their neighbors about energy efficiency, shared ideas and tips and encouraged households to participate in the ReEnergize Pittsburgh Energy Efficiency Challenge. The neighborhood that reduced the most energy usage during the competition won a vacant lot prize – a custom designed public greenspace. The goal of the program was to encourage energy reduction and behavior change through friendly competition and sustained community-based education.
ReEnergize Pgh worked with community leaders and partners to identify and select three strong, active, and invested community members from each neighborhood to serve as outreach leaders.
Through the month of October, ReEnergize Pgh trained Ambassadors through a month long program in which topics such as energy conservation, community outreach, and behavior change were covered.
After the training, ambassadors were equipped to engage their community with outreach and education material, helping households learn how to reduce energy, and enroll them as participants in the competition.
During the winter season, Ambassadors assisted participating communities in making the biggest change in their energy use compared to the year before. The community that reduced the most energy use compared to the last year will won a community greenspace project.
Ambassadors worked with community members in order to collect energy use information throughout the winter. Ambassadors also worked with community members to document energy use indicators in order to inform a greater level of community energy planning.
Project Goals and Outcomes
- Increase energy efficiency education and outreach activities
- Facilitate increased access to available energy efficiency services
- Engage 350 participatory households for energy efficiency competition
- Achieve deemed aggregate savings of 10% in energy use
- Reduce energy costs for households engaged
- Reduce carbon footprint, and mitigate CO2 from entering atmosphere
“Many people in our community want to become more sustainable and energy efficient, but they think that they can’t afford it. I want to show them that they can easily and affordably reduce their energy usage.”
— Sarah Kremer, ReEnergize Pittsburgh Ambassador for Millvale