State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Energize Corvallis: Community Engagement for Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Federal Funding: $491,762
Project Timeline: February 2011 – February 2014
All four Energize Corvallis programs are well underway; the programs have conducted outreach to residents, local community groups, and businesses by holding volunteer training sessions and distributing educational materials. The Resource Innovation Group is developing a new strategy for its Green Share program, which helps customers reduce their energy consumption. The Green Share program is adding a focus on connecting contractors with leads for efficiency work. The Communities Take Charge program is distributing new materials by canvassing neighborhoods and tabling at community events, including a personalized postcard to help remind participants what energy-saving actions they selected, a coupon card featuring exclusive discounts from local businesses that support sustainability, and a menu of energy-saving actions for canvassers to use when registering participants. The Energizers program reached out to the faith communities by holding a Creation Care Workshop, and developed a handbook to help volunteers understand why people in their network might be interested in energy efficiency and conservation, and provide guidance on developing an outreach strategy. Finally, the Neighborhood Sustainability Stewards prepared and held volunteer trainings. The Energize Corvallis website was updated to include current program information. Upcoming activity includes holding workshops, collaborating with school districts and other local organizations, and further development and distribution of outreach materials.
Promoting Community Engagement through Energy Reduction Programs
The City of Corvallis is implementing four complementary pilot programs across the City, all designed to promote the city's energy independence and climate change mitigation work while increasing community involvement in the process. The project, Energize Corvallis, draws on the expertise of four established institutions to expand, fine tune, and connect successful projects. Using this expertise, the City of Corvallis is:
- implementing the City Council's Community Energy Strategy and elements of the Community Sustainability Action Plan,
- expanding the Corvallis Environmental Center's energy efficiency programs including the Communities Take Charge and the Energizers program,
- establishing Oregon State University's Benton County Extension Service program, and
- establishing the Resource Innovation Group's Green Share program, which works with customers to reduce their energy consumption.
The City of Corvallis is integrating these four programs along with the implementation of City-wide reduction measures. By integrating these plans and programs, Energize Corvallis is providing opportunities for involvement across a broad demographic and spectrum of individual interest. Energize Corvallis emphasizes community involvement and volunteerism to accomplish energy reduction goals.
The suite of programs offer multiple commitment levels to maximize community members' willingness and ability to participate. With the lowest level of required engagement, the Kilowatt Cruncher program is a neighborhood-based approach to reducing energy consumption through no-cost and low-cost actions. Energize Corvallis works with three to four neighborhood associations to establish goals for outreach, program recruitment, and energy reduction. Requiring a higher level of involvement, the Energizers program trains residents to serve as liaisons to specific groups in the community. Each volunteer creates personalized Energize Corvallis outreach materials and messaging for their groups. Also at this level of engagement, the Green Share program offers targeted workshops to employees in the residential energy and water use fields to encourage efficient behaviors from their customers. Finally, the highest level of engagement, the Neighborhood Sustainability Stewards program, is an initiative where participants go through 11-week training classes and learn from local experts on how to implement residential emission reduction activities. The Neighborhood Sustainability Stewards program is run through the OSU Extension, and the City of Corvallis supports the training of 60 to 75 Neighborhood Sustainability Stewards.
Community residents benefit from energy cost savings. The projects also increase communication among neighbors, improve the City's resilience to energy price shocks, and increase overall civic engagement in Corvallis.
|Area||13 square miles|
|Community Type||Small Urban|
|Median Household Income||$35,350|
|Reported Results (as of September 2012)||Projected Cumulative Results|
|Annual GHG Reductions||91 mt CO2e||4,469 mt CO2e|
|Annual Electricity Reductions||10 MWh||3,800 MWh|
|Annual Natural Gas Savings||285 therms||406,000 therms|
|Communities Take Charge Participants||3,184||5,500|
|Neighborhood Sustainability Stewards||12||50|
- City of Corvallis wins $492K EPA grant , 04/14/2011
- Corvallis will use grant to reduce energy use , 04/14/2011
- Corvallis, OR, Receives EPA Funding for “Energize Corvallis" ,