Green Built Alliance Assumes Energy Savers Network Management

Energy Savers Network Workday

Green Built Alliance is taking over management and operation of Energy Savers Network’s efforts to offer energy-efficiency upgrades to low-income homes in Western North Carolina, with the intention of continuing to expand the grassroots program’s impact and reach.

In becoming the exclusive implementer of Energy Savers Network in Western North Carolina, Green Built Alliance assumes responsibility for fundraising, staff hiring and management, operational protocols, client recruitment and service, volunteer recruitment and retention, community outreach, website and promotions management, and bookkeeping.

Energy Savers Network Development Director Alice Wyndham (left) and Operations Coordinator Yulia Shaffer work on the porch of a local home being weatherized by the organization. PAT BARCAS PHOTOS

“I’m excited about how this relationship will allow us to build our volunteer-based approach, provide greater professional oversight, and increase our activities and impact to a new level commensurate with the scale of the climate emergency,” Energy Savers Network Executive Director Brad Rouse said.

Green Built Alliance has been serving as Energy Savers Network’s fiscal sponsor for two years.

“During that time, our relationship has grown stronger and our paths more woven together,” Green Built Alliance Executive Director Sam Ruark-Eastes said. “The mission of Energy Savers Network to help people while helping the climate by doing low-income energy-efficiency upgrades is deeply aligned with the Green Built Alliance mission of advancing sustainability in the built environment. Through this partnership, we are planning to scale this work to support even more households needing energy-efficiency upgrades.”

The name Energy Savers Network will continue to be used to represent this weatherization work. An advisory board will be set up to help guide the management and volunteer engagement so critical to this effort. The board will also have a goal of teaching and inspiring  other organizations outside of Western North Carolina to implement this model of using volunteers and staff to perform weatherization upgrades.

Energy Savers Network was cofounded by Brad Rouse and Alice Wyndham in 2016. It grew significantly in 2018 and 2019. Thanks to the support of its volunteers, Buncombe County and the Energy Innovation Task Force, the program has been able to weatherize more than 350 low-income homes in Western North Carolina over the past two years.

Energy Savers Network also receives financial support from local donors and foundations, as well as Duke Energy’s Fee for Service pilot project, which funds materials for home upgrades.

Energy Savers Network partners on its projects with a variety of other local organizations, including Mountain Housing Opportunities to perform home repairs, Community Action Opportunities to complete larger energy-efficiency upgrades, and Eblen Charities to connect with potential clients who receive federal funding through LIHEAP (the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program).