Claremont Energy Vision: A Grassroots Movement for Energy Efficiency

In the face of overwhelming needs, understanding where to begin can be a challenge. The task of mitigating climate change presents itself in the same way. What are the best ways to reduce energy consumption and limit greenhouse gases? What projects are already underway to boost sustainability in local communities? To answer some of these questions and continue our work collaborating toward a better future, EcoCiv led an event titled Claremont Energy Vision on April 13, 2017. The convening was co-sponsored with partners Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project, Inc. (CHERP), the Hixon Center for Sustainable Design at Harvey Mudd College, and the Environmental Analysis program at Pomona College.

At the Shanahan Center auditorium at Harvey Mudd College, the Claremont Energy Vision program attracted a large crowd of students from the Claremont Colleges and community members from the city of Claremont. Using the framework of the pressing crisis and the need to move toward an ecological civilization, the event featured CHERP’s “Claremont Locally Grown Power” project as a case study in local sustainability efforts. Featuring speakers who were among local leaders and politicians, government officials and advocates, business executives and cutting edge researchers, the conversation welcomed the audience into learning about the exciting work being done in their own backyard. Following time to interact with questions, the audience was invited to engage the speakers in informal discussions of how the aspects of the project work together and opportunities moving forward.

Claremont Energy Vision sought to demonstrate the multi-faceted value and implications of CHERP’s efforts to implement energy efficiency on a city-wide basis. Speakers worked to inspire the local community and increase awareness, with the goal of building future support from new strategic partners and local stakeholders. Instead of focusing on a singular and compartmentalized issue, Claremont Energy Vision demonstrated how both EcoCiv and CHERP aim to bridge “silos” by integrating the critical elements of job creation, local economic stimulus, economic social justice, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Through our expert speakers, the discussion began to construct the groundwork for a grassroots movement. There was a unanimous agreement across federal, state, and city leaders that local communities are the true catalyst for instituting an ecological civilization – working within a “bottom-to-top” paradigm empowers citizens and subsequently local officials, allowing them to diffuse the efficient and replicable CHERP innovations from city-to-city. EcoCiv will collaborate with CHERP and others to use the Claremont Energy Vision event as outreach to other cities, demonstrating the support and replicability of the locally grown power project. Participants confirmed that the project is scalable throughout California and is a necessary step in working toward a more sustainable future.

For further details on Claremont Energy Vision, please see the event webpage. EcoCiv welcomes you to contact us for further information on how you can become involved.