Happy New Year!
With the continuation of Empower Chattanooga and the Georgetown University Energy Prize with free bilingual DVDs distributed in our target neighborhoods, more regular education and a Green Schools Summit, more businesses receiving green|light certification, the development of our first net-zero energy and healthy NextGen Home, the extension of key tax credits for renewable energy, EPB's PEER Certification, upcoming announcements from the City of Chattanooga and other partners, and a new version of LEED, it is shaping up to be an incredible 2016 for sustainability in Chattanooga!
Empower Chattanooga has already touched over 1000 residents of East Chattanooga, Highland Park, and East Lake and smaller adjacent neighborhoods. We have just started to hand out 1000 copies of our Empower DVD in that shows simple no-cost and low-cost ways to save energy. We are working on establishing more regular basic energy workshops coordinated with our friends at Metropolitan Ministries, United Way's 211 Hotline, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Catholic Charities, OASIS, Chattanooga Housing Authority and many more.
As part of Empower, we are working with Bright Spark, UTC, and a handful of public and private middle schools on a program called Green Spark to teach students design thinking skills focused on the improvement of East Lake Park, which was one of the key priorities for our Community Advisory and Action Group and the East Lake Neighborhood Association. The student's designs will be displayed and awards will be given at a Green Schools Summit we are planning in April.
The Green Schools Summit will be focused on high-performance, health, and productive schools and have tracks for the latest developments in new school design, existing school improvements, and the incorporation of sustainability and design thinking in curriculum with the Green Spark as an example. We will provide more details as they are available.
Along with more rapid adoption of green|light in local businesses, the start of construction for our NextGen Homes, and our long-standing membership programs supporting professionals and individuals looking to help advance our mission, we look forward to a great 2016 and ask for your support along the way!
Also, check out our latest resource page about the six classes of chemicals and materials to avoid when purchasing home products or building supplies: Health Homes