EcoAction Initiative Compared to San Miguel Power Partners: Two distinctly different yet compatible programs
The New Community Coalition and San Miguel Power Association each now offer a program to the community that caters to the needs of community residents and businesses. It is important for people to realize that these programs are compatible with each other, and each serves the community with needed, yet very different, services. Both programs will help individuals, organizations and the region work towards meeting energy and sustainability goals by 2020.
The EcoAction Initiative is a low-cost, community-driven program to highlight easy-to-make changes that will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and track the results. The San Miguel Power Partners program focuses on walking people through the process of making infrastructure changes to their home or business that will physically make the structure more energy efficient.
TNCC's EcoAction Initiative is focused on engaging the community in reducing their carbon footprint through addressing several components of sustainability and tracking the changes over time through monitoring of utility bills, transportation data, and waste. The EcoAction Initiative helps identify and focus on behavioral changes, take action on 'low-hanging fruit' energy-saving items people can do themselves, and decide what carbon footprint items to make a priority. EcoAction participants are assigned a mentor who will review utility bills, do a home walk-through assessment, and review regular behaviors with the participant. Together, they will develop a list of carbon footprint reducing actions such as: reducing waste through regular food composting, reducing transportation fuel through increasing use of bicycling/walking/carpooling/public transit, and reducing energy used through taking shorter showers, hanging clothes to dry, turning off lights, and programming a thermostat to reduce heating temperatures when the building is unoccupied. After the participant has reduced their carbon footprint, the mentor may recommend the purchase of renewable energy (such as SMPA's Green Blocks program) or carbon offsets (TNCC's Green Fund or GEO's Colorado Carbon Fund or other options). TNCC will continue to collect utility bills from the participant for at least a year after the walkthrough to monitor and track energy and carbon footprint reductions.
According to SMPA, "San Miguel Power Partners aims at walking people through the process of performing significant energy efficiency improvements to their home or business. This program focuses on making infrastructure changes to your home or business that will physically make the structure more energy efficient. Through this program SMPA members will be presented with specific capital improvements that were identified in an energy audit. These completely optional, improvements will be presented; complete with special financing options that allow the person the option of executing the improvements in a way that is cash neutral or even cash positive. If the person chooses to go ahead with the improvements, the SMPP program will then hire trusted local contractors to do the work and even inspect the completed projects to certify the quality of work completed. In addition, all available rebates and incentives will be accessed and applied for. It is a one-stop shop to make cash neutral, energy efficiency improvements to your home or business. SMPA has partnered with the International Center for Appropriate Sustainable Technology, or iCAST to manage this program."
SMPA's SMPP program and TNCC's EcoAction Initiative are each important programs in the community to decrease our energy use and carbon footprint. A community member could even benefit from participating in both programs concurrently and taking action through both programs to reduce energy use, using SMPP to implement energy efficiency upgrades and EcoAction to address do-it-yourself improvements and greenhouse gas reduction actions, and to have all of their savings tracked over time. Both programs will help the community spend less on utility bills and be more comfortable in their homes. Please join your fellow community members and take advantage of these unique opportunities designed to help you reduce energy use at your home or business and help us reach our regional carbon footprint reduction goals.