Reservoir Hill’s participation in the 2009 Baltimore Neighborhood Energy Challenge (BNEC) demonstrated the neighborhood’s commitment to dramatically changing community attitudes and actions with regard to energy consumption. RHIC directed a two-pronged outreach campaign: RHIC Green Team organized door-to-door canvassing efforts using trained neighborhood Energy Captain to recruit 100 households to join BNEC for the winter season 2009-2010; and, Civic Works, through its Project Lightbulb, offered free household energy upgrades, including exchanging 15 light bulbs with energy efficient CFLs, installing new energy efficient faucets and shower heads, and wrapping hot water heater and pipes. As a result of all these efforts, participating households decreased their energy consumption by 11.2%, compared to winter 2008-2009.
RHIC applies for and receives a $41,113 Community Energy Savers Grant from the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability to build on the success of BNEC by designing a significant outreach campaign to increase energy conservation behaviors in Reservoir Hill residents.
To achieve a further 15% decrease over the next year in energy consumption by participating BNEC households, RHIC will partner with New Lens, a youth-led art and media organization dedicated to social change, on an expanded public education program. RHIC and New Lens have worked together on many past occasions to create public outreach materials that creatively engage the Reservoir Hill community, including developing a year-long curriculum development for youth on urban environmental problems, stenciling of storm drains, sponsoring field trips, leading vacant lot rehabilitation efforts, creating materials to improve sanitation and recycling, and co-sponsoring the 2010 Wintergreen Festival.
RHIC staff member Megan McCubbin establishes the Greenkeepers after-school environmental science club to provide opportunities for students to participate in new greening initiatives, including recycling, energy conservation, and watershed projects, at John Eager Howard Elementary School.
Greenkeepers prepare signs to hang in classrooms to remind teachers and students to turn off light switches (March 2011)
RHIC works with New Lens youth designers to create a new logo and slogan, “Flip the Power,” for an expanded energy conservation outreach campaign:
Spring 2012- present
With support from Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, RHIC recruit more than 230 people to sign the Flip the Power energy saving pledge. Residents commit to turn off lights, wash clothes in cold water, and turn down the thermostat, and in exchange they receive Baltimore Energy Challengeenergy saving kits and had the opportunity to register for a Project Lightbulb home visit. Between the Project Lightbulb visits, a completely free service in which AmeriCorps members install up to 15 CFL lightbulbs, 2 low flow faucet aerators, 1 low flow shower head, 1 insulating hot water wrap, and 1 CO/smoke detector, and Baltimore Energy Challenge CFL lightbulb giveaways, we estimate that the total energy savings in Reservoir Hill is approximately 4396 kwH per month.