- Bulk purchase program for home insulation – reduces heating and cooling costs by insulating homes from the elements: http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com/insulation
- Bulk purchase program for solar-electric panels (Grow Solar) – The first steps to producing clean, local energy: http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com/grow-solar
- Weatherization work parties – Getting neighbors together for a fun work party preparing their homes for winter: http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com/workparty
- For those interested in solar hot water of solar air heat, we promote the Make Mine Solar bulk-buying program run by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society: http://mnrenewables.org/makeminesolar
Beyond creating the outreach materials and lining up the contract, it’s been all about outreach. We’ve hit the farmers markets (22 scheduled by mid October), attended community events, got in City Council and neighborhood newsletters, and gone door to door to meet and talk with folks in our neighborhood. We even had 14 of us going around to over 30 National Night Out events (an August 7th block party day that has several thousand local block parties in Minneapolis) letting people know about ways to get involved. As these neighbors are going about shopping for local produce, meeting, and having fun, some have stopped for information, others have gotten excited to tell their friends, and some have been simply overjoyed to learn what we’re doing.
The most exciting thing for me about this is the process of linking people-to-people community outreach with the process of growing a thriving business. As we line up the contracts, I can see the seeds of long-term employment positions for neighborhood residents in the revenue flows we are building even as we help folks save money. At the same time, the inspiration and excitement I hear from more and more neighbors as we present what we’re doing is infectious. I’ve been dedicated to making this dream a reality for over four years now, and at times it has been slow going, but I’m starting to see a wave of community support that is building CEF into a success.
As we leave the summer and head towards Fall, I look forward to seeing the cooperative growing, one neighbor at a time.
Sounds like SOS was very productive this summer Timothy! I support y’all but I still haven’t bothered with the webinar things, that are waiting for me. Too bad the ARISE thing didn’t work out; don’t know why St Paul wants to make the Ford Plant into a shopping mall instead of anything practical. Hmm…
Thank you so much for a great article and even better initiatives, which I think will play an important role in the strengthening of the community power sector not only in the US, but worldwide. We need these best practices and success stories to inspire communities worldwide to take their energy generation in their own hands.
If you want to find out more about project and policy updates regarding community-owned power generation and consumption, you may visit The Community Power Report at http://www.communitypowerreport.com look it up on Twitter (https://twitter.com/thecpreport) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thecpreport).
Let’s stay in touch!
I’m delighted to read that your dedication on this project is paying off and continue to be in awe of the work accomplished by all solutionaries.