Energy leveraging for Community Action Agencies

Posted by Tom White on October 25, 2010
I'm in St. Petersburg, Florida, attending the National Community Action Foundation and Community Investment Futures Energy Conference.  Today is the conference kick-off and I'm looking forward to learning more about how community action agencies (CAA's), the prime movers of the US DOE weatherization program, are using energy leveraging projects to end poverty and improve energy affordability.  

Many of the new leveraging initiatives focus on utility-weatherization partnerships.  For example, the Michigan Community Action Agency Association won a contract to be the "Energy Optimization Administrator" for the entire state.  In Maine, the state's Weatherization Assistance Program is quantifying their CO2 credit/offsets to earn program revenue. And representatives from Habitat from Humanity and Rebuilding Together, will be leading a matchmaking session for CAA housing programs. 

CAA's have a unique leadership role in their community: coordinating housing, weatherization, economic and community development for low-income clients and communities.  Thanks to the ARRA stimulus funding, in this past year the weatherization and community action networks have expended over $2.8 billion in ARRA funds and created more than 20,000 new full-time jobs.  As ARRA funding winds down, there is a sense of optimism and innovation at the conference about the role of CAA's as community energy leaders, helping to ensure energy affordability and clean, green jobs.

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