At this year’s 5th Annual Neighborhood Institute: Love Where You Live, Ben Jakubowski of the Neighborhood Design Center will share some simple tips and tricks on how to save energy in nearly every home with his workshop, Energy Efficiency. RSVP today! Your wallet will thank you for coming.
Tell us about your background.
I first began working on energy efficiency while at Oberlin College, where I served for two years on the board of an efficiency fund that funded weatherization, lighting retrofits, and other energy efficiency projects on campus and in the community. While working with the fund, I saw first hand how energy efficiency improvements not only help the environment, but also cut utility costs and produce real monetary savings. This motivated me to continue working in energy efficiency after graduating and ultimately led me to join the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) as Community Energy Savers VISTA. In this position, I have had the exciting opportunity to work with residents in Abell, Better Waverly, and Harwood to organize energy efficiency workshops and block projects in their neighborhoods.
As you know, GHCC’s Neighborhood Institute is about helping residents learn ways to build and strengthen their own neighborhoods. How will your workshop help them to accomplish that?
The workshop will describe a couple models for neighborhood energy events, which were piloted by the NDC Community Energy Savers program, and provide participants with the tools they need to organize similar events in their own neighborhoods. Importantly, these events not only connect residents with energy-saving knowledge and tools, but also strengthen neighborhood networks.
Why did you choose to participate as a workshop leader in this year’s Neighborhood Institute?
Energy efficiency is a key tool to building and strengthening neighborhoods since it not only helps improve neighborhood sustainability, but also empowers residents to tackle their often sky-high utility bills. This is a win-win combination, and one I am excited to help share at the Neighborhood Institute.
What are you hoping that your workshop participants will take away with them?
Participants in the Energy Efficiency workshop will leave with all the tools they need to organize a neighborhood energy event in their own neighborhood.