Most of our Clean Energy Corps members are moving on from Neighbor to Neighbor, so we wrote this three-person speech to say thank you and goodbye to all of those who have supported us on this journey.
(Chamae, Jeff and Kayla wander on stage, looking slightly lost, similar to their ﬁrst day at N2N. They are all wearing SCA shirts, hardhats, and hiking boots and awkwardly wave hello to one another)
Chamae: Hey, uh…are you here for that Clean Energy Corps program?
Kayla: Yeah, the Student Conservation Association, right?
Jeff: Yep! I’m excited to work somewhere where I can wear my carhardts. I hear SCA is known for trail-building and invasive species removal.
Chamae: That’s what my friends in college told me. The park seems right and the solar panels make sense, but who are all these people? (indicates to the crowd).
Kayla: I remember them saying something about working with a bunch of partner organizations in the job description. And that Connecticut is a small northeast state with areas ranging from urban centers, to oceanfront, to rural farms and communities.
Jeff: Farms!?!? Farms in Conecticut? I don’t know about all that. When I think of the SCA though, I think of escaping from civilization for a while and living in the backcountry. Don’t get me wrong, I like people, as long as I don’t have to go knocking on their doors.
Kayla: Don’t worry, they told me in my interview we deﬁnitely won’t be doing any of that.
Jill (runs on stage): Hi guys! Welcome to the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge! Now this Corps is a little unique from the rest, you won’t be building trails or removing invasive species. Instead you’ll be engaging residents in 14 communities to help them reduce energy waste in their homes by 20 percent. We’ll do this by running a free lighting program, giving presentations to community groups, hosting workshops, and….going door-to-door! (brief pause, everyone groans and makes exasperated face) You go where the people are! Here are your shirts (throws collared button-down N2N shirts at us), get going! (runs off stage).
Kayla: Wait, what!?! What do we say to them??? Are we supposed to do anything with what we ﬁnd out? I feel so unprepared!!
Chamae: I don’t know, let’s just go say hi and see what happens. I’m sure we’ll ﬁgure it out.
(go into crowd and start talking to attendees about Neighbor to Neighbor- 20 sec).
Jeff (from crowd): When we started in October 2010, none of us knew quite what to expect coming onto a pilot program. Most of us came to Neighbor to Neighbor on pure faith, knowing that we wanted to make a difference reducing energy use in Connecticut. I was deﬁnitely worth the leap, because we have learned a lot and met many amazing people.
Chamae: We have received amazing trainings on the inner workings of Salesforce, active listening, coordinating volunteers, public presentations, and community outreach. We were able to shadow our HES vendors and know ﬁrst hand the value of what they do in 4 hours.
Jeff: We’ve not only learned outreach skills, but we are now lighting experts! We have the certiﬁcates to prove it (Chamae pulls her lighting certiﬁcate out of her back pocket, upside down and nods enthusiastically), and have learned ﬁrst hand why CFLs don’t go into dimmer switches.
Kayla: We’ve learned how buildings work and can tell you the signs of energy waste including ice dams, mold and comfort issues. We’ve even learned how to run an effective oﬃce!
Chamae (next to Lou): We also learned about people. Why they care about energy eﬃciency and how to form real relationships. And how brownies and breakfast can go a long way to making friends (smiles at Lou)
Jeff (next to Bryan): And we’ve met a lot of incredible people! We’ve shook hands with Commissioner Esty, the Governor and are on a ﬁrst name basis with the president of the CEFIA. (put hand on shoulder and smile)
Kayla (next to Kerry): Did you guys know that Kerry, the program manager of Neighbor to Neighbor created her own job at Lord and Taylor right out of school?
Jeff: (next to Roger). And that Roger Smith, leader in Connecticut’s environmental movement, is heading to Japan this fall to make a documentary about how residents are recovering from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Chamae: Every day I get to work with amazing community leaders who work tirelessly to make their town a better place to live. Their dedication and passion are an inspiration. When Lou Pear, Portland clean energy task force member, isn’t championing clean energy, he volunteers with the Special Olympics.
(all head back to the front)
Kayla: So we want to thank all of you, those who attended and those who couldn’t.
Chamae: Thank you for your mentorship, your patience and your kindness.
Jeff: Thank you for sharing your knowledge about residential construction and energy eﬃciency.
Kayla: Thank you for all of the hours you have tabled alongside us and for putting on workshops and open houses.
Chamae: In just two short years, the Clean Energy Corps have installed over 8,500 lightbulbs. We have knocked on hundreds of doors and held over 50 community workshops.
Kayla: We have over 120 community partners and over 6000 participants.
Jeff: With your help, we have saved over $1 million annually in the Energy Challenge.
Chamae: This has been an incredible journey and we are so proud to be part of such a reckoning force in Connecticut.
Jeff: Together we have left a signiﬁcant impact that will be felt for years to come. Heck the DPUC is looking to us for guidance on how to make energy eﬃciency work in Connecticut!
Kayla: Though some days have been long and hard, it was all worth it. We greatly appreciate the amazing opportunity provided by this program. Thank you all who have been a part of the experience. We wish you the best of luck in continuing success through the end of Neighbor to Neighbor and beyond!
All: Thank you!