CITY’S YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS ENERGIZED THROUGH SUMMER CANVASSING PROGRAM
(7/10/2014) CITY’S YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS ENERGIZED THROUGH SUMMER CANVASSING PROGRAM
New Haven — The City of New Haven, in partnership with Energize Connecticut and United Illuminating, has launched the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) to serve city residents and provide educational experiences to local high school students.
The YCC will help boost energy conservation efforts among New Haven residents. Corps members will travel by bicycle and canvass door-to-door in neighborhoods throughout the city. Members will help build environmental awareness and provide information about how residents can upgrade their lighting and receive free and reduced cost energy assessments and consultations.
“Our goal is a bold one: we seek to reduce citywide energy consumption by 20 percent by Fiscal Year 2018,” Mayor Harp said. “This will be accomplished gradually and incrementally: the plan calls for 8 percent in the current year, 11 percent in FY 15, 14 percent the year after, 17 percent in FY 17, and then 20 percent by 2018.”
“In addition, to supplement this concerted effort to shrink the city’s carbon footprint, the city is pledged to purchase 20 percent of its municipal building electricity from clean, renewable sources in that same timeframe, by 2018,” Mayor Harp added.
This summer, the YCC is focusing on an initiative supported by United Illuminating to provide New Haven residents with Energy Star-certified LED light bulbs. These light bulbs typically reduce home energy costs by 75% over outdated incandescent bulbs. While LED bulbs can be more expensive than conventional bulbs, United Illuminating and the City of New Haven are able to make these light bulbs available to city residents for a reduced priced when purchased at local lighting retailers.
In addition, the YCC is working to boost enrollment in Energize Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions program. Through Home Energy Solutions, local residents can receive low priced – or if eligible, free – energy audits. These provide the opportunity for homeowners and renters to learn about their home’s energy performance, receive immediate efficiency gains through new lighting and other equipment, and receive information about other upgrades that can reduce their energy costs.
YCC Supervisor Nick Gauthier outlined the program’s significance: “Not only are Youth Conservation Corps students providing a valuable resource for their New Haven community but they are also developing important life skills, including developing their sense of empathy through engaging their neighbors face-to-face without the filter of electronic forms of communication.”
Gauthier said the YCC provides crucial opportunities to New Haven high school students. The students who canvass neighborhoods and identify energy-saving improvements will develop key technical, communication, and interpersonal skills; business connections in a developing field; and a sense of responsibility and independence.
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