Nashville Makes Progress Improving Energy Efficiency of Low-Income Homes
‘Make a Difference Day’ Volunteers Will Work on Chestnut Hill Homes on Saturday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville is making progress helping low-income families improve the sustainability of their homes with more than 100 low-income homeowners receiving no-cost upgrades to their properties. The city was able to expand those efforts through a $25,000 grant recently awarded from Cities of Service, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, to help provide more than 50 energy efficiency and stormwater mitigation projects throughout Nashville with a focus in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood in South Nashville.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, Hands On Nashville volunteers will work on three homes in Chestnut Hill as part of The Tennessean’s Make a Difference Day celebration of volunteerism. This privately-funded pilot project paves the way for the program that will be supported by Cities of Service in 2013. Volunteers will install insulation, weather strip doors and windows, install low-flow shower heads and make other energy improvements. More information about volunteer opportunities is available at www.hon.org.
Another 100 homes in North Nashville will receive no-cost evaluations and upgrades through the Mayor’s Nashville Energy Works program as part of the Go Green North Nashville campaign, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Tennessee State University, Hands On Nashville and Village Real Estate Services.
“Nashville Energy Works and partner programs help families protect the value of their homes and offer homeowners clear, tangible energy savings on their utility bills,” Dean said. “Our success depends on community collaboration with many partners, and I especially thank Hands On Nashville for engaging volunteers in these efforts.”
The Go Green North Nashville initiative, led by Tennessee State University, leverages grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide energy audits and retrofits to qualifying North Nashville homeowners. Nashville Electric Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority contributed to the project by providing 50 home energy audits.
The city’s sustainability efforts are a component of the Mayor’s Office Impact Nashville service plan, which Dean launched on Sept. 30, 2010, as part of the national Cities of Service movement. Impact Nashville directs volunteerism toward top priorities of public education and the environment.
Nashville was one of 18 U.S. cities to be awarded a Cities of Service grant to support mayors who are harnessing the power of volunteers in a strategic way to address priority problems in their communities. The grant funds are provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies to support new “impact volunteering” initiatives.
“I am proud we have earned recognition from Cities of Service by fostering a city culture that promotes civic engagement and volunteerism,” Dean said. “This important grant will help us leverage the power of our volunteers to broaden our sustainability efforts.”
More than 60 mayors competed for this initial round of grants. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will also support volunteer initiatives in Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Duluth, MN; Fall River, MA; Flint, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Kalamazoo, MI; Little Rock, AR; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pierre, SD; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; and Richmond, CA.
Backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a $2 million fund. Nearly $1 million is being granted through this initial round, with an additional $1 million available for deployment in 2013. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of their initiatives, potential for impact and implementation plans, among other criteria.
About Cities of Service
American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. Founded in September 2009, Cities of Service supports mayors to leverage citizen service strategies, addressing local needs and making government more effective.