Broad Community Engagement
The Green Empowerment Program is DeIPL’s signature initiative. It is specifically, though not exclusively, targeted at low-income neighborhoods. Faith communities are engaged as Stewards of Creation to serve as demonstration sites and Learning Centers to educate members and the residents and businesses in adjoining neighborhoods on energy-related products, services, resources and behavior strategies.
Broad community partnerships are also being established to expand green space, facilitate community solar programs and explore green job opportunities; providing training and apprenticeships for youth and un/under-employed residents. We anticipate all of these initiatives will, in turn, contribute to reductions in energy use, increased neighborhood values, enhanced environmental health and deepened sense of community.
Community engagement strategies include:
= Identifying and engaging strategically located Houses of Worship (HOW) as Learning Centers.
= Arranging energy audits for houses of worship and residential properties & commercial buildings.
= Providing Eco-Kits to members and neighbors that will help lower energy costs while increasing comfort.
= Helping residents access home improvement programs and funding sources by utilizing the State’s Weatherization Assistance Program and other state and local resources.
= Providing ongoing education and resources through neighborhood meetings.
= Promoting a Cool Roof program to home owners, landlords and businesses.
= Expanding creation of green space/functional landscaping/community gardens as an energy reduction and healthy neighborhoods strategy.
= Facilitating Community Solar projects.
= Building collaborative relationships to support energy reduction, stimulate local green job creation and training and strengthen markets to support them.
= Preparing for extreme heat events through the Beat-the-Heat program.
= Eliciting media opportunities to educate and engage the public. .