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Energy and Climate Change: Neighborhood Collaboration

In addition to making personal choices about the energy you use, you can collaborate with neighbors to develop neighborhood energy-reduction goals and a plan to achieve those goals. There are many opportunities to reduce energy use and possibly incorporate renewable energy sources into your community. Explore the ideas below and utilize the resources to help get you started. Also visit theTransportation Alternatives pages for information about reducing energy use related to transportation. Remember, it takes energy to deliver water and it takes water to produce energy. Visit the Water Resources section for more strategies.

 

Conduct a neighborhood energy audit. There are many tools available to help you conduct an energy audit. Learning how your neighborhood uses energy will help you make choices about how to make reductions. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website for a guide to conducting a home energy audit or to hire a professional auditor. This process can be applied on a neighborhood scale by collaborating and encouraging participation among neighbors.

Develop a neighborhood Energy Reduction Plan. Once you know how you are using energy, look for ways to make reductions. If you learn that heating and cooling homes makes up a large portion of your energy use, develop a plan to incorporate passive solar techniques that help keep homes cool in the summer and let the sunshine in during the winter by strategically adding vegetation to your neighborhood.

Energy and the Human Environment: Toward Better Neighborhood Design, Judy and Michael CorbettPublished by: College of Human Ecology, Michigan State University 

Look for opportunities to use solar power. Parks, ramadas, bus shelters, neighborhood centers, schools and community pools are all areas that may be able to collect and utilize solar power. Collaborate with neighbors to asses the possibilities and how solar power can benefit your neighborhood. 

PRO Neighborhoods

PRO offers both small grants and technical assistance. They assist groups working together to mobilize and build upon existing talents and resources within the community. 

Learn from Community Models. There are people throughout the community working together to make Tucson more sustainable. Learn from their projects and use the strategies in your neighborhood.

Also visit the Individual Actions page of this section and the Sustainability in Government: Energy and Climate Change page for more information to help get you started.