Power North Project

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The Details…

Power North combines strong community relationships with clean energy program expertise to galvanize Northsiders in taking clean energy actions. The project aims to direct two time-bound campaigns that empower Northern Green Zone residents and businesses to choose clean electricity and reduce energy consumption. Since renewable energy has great appeal in the community, the project started September 2019’s campaign focusing on spurring businesses and residents to take advantage of solar and wind energy opportunities. Noting that keeping energy use low is just as important as having clean energy, the second campaign on energy efficiency will capitalize on the fruits of Home Energy Squad visits to drive insulation and heating system upgrades. Though Minneapolis is home to many great efficiency programs and renewable energy options, data from the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership reports show that renewable energy program participation and home energy investments in the Northern Green Zone lag that in other parts of the city. With culturally-relevant messaging and having credible messengers as barriers to greater participation in North Minneapolis to date. Power North builds trust through outreach to be conducted by members from the community. Further, the specific and focused campaigns serve as a pilot for Community Based Social Marketing techniques to build a culture around sustainable energy in a community that has historically been under-resourced, yet has a vast interest in being more ‘green.’ By driving residents and businesses to take clean energy actions, the result will be greenhouse gas emission reductions, decreases in energy burden, and the activation of a community clean energy ethos. The project is led by MN Renewable Now (MRN), an organization with strong existing community ties and the expertise to foster greater relationships through racially and culturally sensitive messaging. As we are based on the northside, our focus will be the Northern Green Zone along with nearby northside neighborhoods that are ready to partner with us. Because Green Zones have a high density of people of color (up to over 92% in some neighborhoods) and share a low Area Median Income (AMI), it is critical to us that this program helps to build their wealth. As neighbors have the opportunity to make investments in renewable energy, they can save money in the long term. Similarly, as home energy efficiency is improved, fewer dollars are spent on energy and can instead be used in the community. MRN is partnerted with Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), who brings knowledge of clean energy programs, financing tools, and marketing expertise with Community Based Social Marketing. Further partners to help spread outreach materials and broadcast events are place-based organizations such as Northside Residents Redevelopment Council, Mckinley Neighborhood Association, Hawthorne Neighborhood Association and Folwell Neighborhood.