Community Members Share Feedback on Community Energy Plan

Infographic by Tay Stone.

We are so grateful to the community members who joined us on Wednesday, November 28th to share their opinions on a draft of the Living Cully Community Energy Plan (LCCEP). The LCCEP is a blueprint for how Living Cully can address community needs through energy projects. Our focus group participants shared feedback on the six pilot projects included in the plan, expressing a high interest in the Ductless Heat Pump Coop, the Cully Based Community Solar Project, and the Community Energy Education Campaign. A description of the six pilot projects is included below.

  1. Ductless Heat Pump Coop: Ductless Heat Pumps (DHPs) are one of the most accessible energy efficient heating technologies on the market, and can reduce energy bills up to 25-50%. This pilot brings together a group of Cully residents to collectively buy DHPs in bulk and negotiate a lower price. This coop would include folks who are slightly above the income requirements needed to qualify for county weatherization services.
  2. St. Charles Church Solar PV Installation: This pilot proposes a solar installation and storage system at St. Charles Church, with enough annual generation to offset current electricity usage. St. Charles is a church that cares for its members as well as all those who live and work in the neighborhood. By incorporation storage into the solar project and connecting it to outlets, Wi-Fi network and refrigerators, St. Charles can support community resiliency if an extreme weather event causes a power outage.
  3. The Oak Leaf Mobile Home Park (OLMHP) Solar PV Installation and Mobile Home Replacement: St. Vincent De Paul plans to redevelop the OLMHP, including mobile home upgrades, new roads, sewer repair, and communal spaces. This pilot would extend the development project to include solar PV installation on the communal spaces, including a kitchen, laundry facility and office space. Additionally, as part of the Community Energy Education Campaign, Verde will use this site to offer opportunities for community members to learn about solar equipment.
  4. The Living Cully Plaza Rebuild: Since 2015, community members and Living Cully have organized to put the former “Sugar Shack” property to positive community use. In September 2017, Hacienda CDC purchased the property to begin a mixed-use redevelopment project that will include community space and over 150 units of affordable house (80% of which are affordable). For this pilot, Verde will design and build the green features of the site, such as a green roof, bioswales, energy efficiency technologies and solar panels.
  5. Cully Based Community Solar: Verde seeks to pilot a low-income focused community solar project in the Cully neighborhood. Community Solar is an off-site solar PV system whose energy generation benefits are shared by multiple users. Community solar participants can either own or subscribe to the project and can be a homeowner, renter or industrial building owner. Participants receive bill credits on their electric bill for their share of the energy produced from the community solar project.
  6. Community Energy Education Campaign: Following the recommendations from our two community focus groups, this pilot envisions an energy educational program for Cully residents of all ages. Through existing Living Cully and Verde educational and leadership structures, we will create opportunities for Cully residents to gain skills and competencies in energy conservation, renewables and policy. Some examples include a 6th grade – 12th grade solar education curriculum, weatherization workshops, and a Volunteer Workshop Leader Program, to train community members as teachers and experts in the neighborhood.

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