Empower Chattanooga is more than an energy efficiency program. We want to consider how energy use and affordability of utilities affect quality of life in Chattanooga, neighborhood-by-neighborhood.
Empower Chattanooga is a new approach to considering and coordinating the delivery of a range of services based on grassroots feedback, real-time geospatial analysis, and the ongoing coordination of public and private resources. Together with residents, our partner organizations want to advance environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
green|spaces, EPB, the City of Chattanooga, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and more than 30 other partnering organizations are coordinating our efforts to reduce per-capita energy use and improve quality of life. But to do that, it is important to engage the residents and leaders in each neighborhood to learn what challenges their neighborhood faces, and what they love and value about their neighborhood. We can then consider how best to deliver energy efficiency and other services that can address specific challenges and improve quality of life.
By reducing the utility bills for homeowners, they will have additional expendable income to be able to meet the other needs of their families. This could be spending the money on paying down debts, buying healthier food, purchasing medicine, or buying other necessities. Every dollar saved through energy efficiency is a dollar that can go back into a neighborhood.
What would you do with an extra $20, $50, or even $100 per month?
But it’s more than just efficiency...
it’s about increasing quality of life. High energy consumption can be a symptom of more wide-spread challenges to quality of life. We identified three areas where average energy usage was very high and will focus our efforts on these communities during the first phase:
This first phase of Empower consists of that gathering information from our first focus neighborhoods. We commissioned the Ochs Center to help set up initial surveys and focus groups to inform our approach. Now we are taking the next step by establishing advisory groups in our focus neighborhoods to provide more real-time dialogue between our partner agencies and the residents and community leaders that we will be serving.
We Need Your Help...
Community Meetings and Advisory Groups (Neighborhood Engagement)
If you live in East Lake, Highland Park, or East Chattanooga (or any of the smaller neighborhoods within those larger communities) please come to our community meetings and consider serving on an advisory group. If you work in a school, church, or other institution in any of our focus areas and would like to be part of Empower, please also come to the community meetings. Also, we encourage you to sign up for eScore here: https://www.2escore.com/
Jan. 26, 5:30 p.m.: East Chattanooga Center, 2409 Dodson Ave.
Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.: East Lake Center, 3701 Dodds Ave.
Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m.: Highland Park, 1700 Duncan Ave.
If you are a contractor in any of those neighborhoods and would like to help improve your neighbor's homes with energy improvements and get more work by listing your business on TVA's Qualified Contractor Network, please also let us know because we can help you with the process.
Ongoing Data Collection to Inform Planning (Partner Agency Implementation)
The Ochs Center will work with green|spaces to map the programs of our partners in our target neighborhood and overall community priorities. The purpose of this is to better understand what actions might result in residential energy use reductions and what, if any, other connections can be made to improving health, safety, and education metrics. We will use these metrics to help align current and future programs and make everything we do more efficient, including using energy.
PHASE TWO Coming Soon, With Your Help....
City of Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Boys & Girls Club
Catholic Charities of Chattanooga
Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise
Chattanooga Kids on the Block
Chattanooga Gas (AGL)
Consumer Credit Counseling
Glass House Collective
Habitat for Humanity
Partnership for Families, Children & Adults
Trust for Public Land
Urban League of Chattanooga
Volunteers in Medicine
Does your organization work in our target neighborhoods but you don't see your organization on the list above? Let us know because we would love to hear about your work!
Empower Chattanooga is our community's entry into the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nation-wide competition for communities to reduce per-capita energy consumption. The community that has the best plan after a two-year performance phase will receive $5 Million to support and expand their efforts. If Chattanooga wins, those funds will go to the partner programs that had the greatest environmental, economic, and social benefit based on third party metrics.
More information about the Georgetown University Energy Prize: http://www.guep.org/
5 Simple Ways to Save Energy in Your Household
1. Get a Free Energy Evaluation
Energy evaluations/audits help to identify ways in which you can conserve energy and highlight specific costs associated with energy losses. Audits project potential savings from implementing the recommended systems or modifications of your housing operations.
Before you make any upgrades, get a free home energy evaluation from EPB and find tips on how to better use your appliances to conserve energy. Then use eScore to get rebates on your improvements:
2. Switch Out Your Lightbulbs
Switching your incandescent lights to CFL or LED can save energy and save money! The bulbs are just as bright as incandescents while generating less heat, using less energy, and lasting up to 8 to 10 times longer. Currently, if you request the energy evaluation described above through EPB as part of TVA's eScore program, you can get up to 12 free CFL's as part of the process.
3. Heat and Cool Wisely
By changing air filters regularly or using a programmable thermostat, you can drive down the cost of your energy bill substantially. Setting back your thermostat 5-8 degrees when you leave the house can also save you on your energy bill. Also, be sure to get your equipment serviced at least once a year.
By keeping your landfills from overflowing, reducing air pollution and conserving the energy it takes to create a brand new product, recycling is an easy way to make a positive impact on your environment. If you live in the city limits of Chattanooga, be sure to sign up for curbside pickup here:
If you live outside of the city limits, check out these additional resources:
5. Use Water Efficiently
Three percent of the nation's energy is used to pump and treat water. Conserving water saves energy, both at home and for the city! Simple actions you can do include installing aerators on faucets, using low-flow shower heads, repairing all toilet and faucet leaks right away, running the dishwasher only with a full load, and only watering your lawn during the coolest parts of the day. Another advantage to participating in eScore is that you'll receive a low-flow shower head to help save hot water, which reduces your energy bill and conserves water.