Greetings Midwest BDC!

Happy Women’s History Month. Like Black history, women’s history cannot be contained by a single page on the calendar or by a single identity. One way to keep learning about Black women in particular all year long is with Black History Flashcards from Urban Intellectuals.

For a spotlight of two of our own members, Sheila Curry-Campbell and Lee Ringo, keep scrolling! They’re also featured in this update about our member-driven funding process, highlighting the people and projects we’re supporting to advance equitable building decarbonization across the region.

We also hope you’ll mark your calendar for our next Local Codes and Standards working group meeting, March 14 at 10am Central / 11am Eastern. In addition to baseline building codes, we will now be exploring building performance standards, all-electric new construction requirements, and other potential local government levers for decarbonizing buildings. To participate, contact Jacob.

If you’d like to suggest a member spotlight or future meeting presenter (including yourself!) please reply to this email or contact Eric. We’d also love to feature your reflections in a future blog.

Thanks for all you’re doing for this movement, for your communities, and for yourselves to stay safe and ok in an all-too-often overwhelming world.

– Marnese, Margaret, Jacob, and Eric

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

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This month, we’re spotlighting two active Coalition members from Illinois and Indiana: Sheila Curry-Campbell, and Lee Ringo. You can read more about them, and the projects they’re working on, in this recent feature about the Coalition’s first round of grantmaking.

Sheila Curry-Campbell

Sheila is a native of Fort Wayne and very active in her community, serving as the 1st District County Councilwoman, and Vice Chair of the Allen County Democratic Party. She is also the past president and current treasurer of the local NAACP as well as an active member of the Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector initiative.

On staff with the Fort Wayne Urban League, Sheila is known as a community organizer and an environmentalist, working to educate the public on the “belief gap” or “behavior gap” as a “Knowledge gap” around environmental issues.

Sheila is a long-time member of the Pilgrim Baptist Church (50 years), serving in various leadership roles, including the Green Team.

Sheila is the daughter of the late Joe Curry and Dorlean Curry (88 years young). She is the youngest surviving of six children. She has one heir, Georance of Marietta, GA.

Lee Ringo

Lee is an active Coalition member, and leader on the PEEP pilot, which is currently providing energy efficiency and electrification retrofits to 5 homes in Pembroke, Illinois.

An advocate for clean energy, Lee is on staff with the Community Development Corporation of Pembroke-Hopkins Park as Project Manager. Leveraging nearly 15 years of demonstrated success in sales and operations, Lee is focused on process optimization and end user success.

Lee looks forward to cultivating relationships and building networks that move clean energy initiatives forward.

COALITION CALENDAR

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To view upcoming working group meetings and other Coalition events online, visit midwestdecarb.org/calendar.

March 9: Next monthly meeting

Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, March 9 at 2pm CST / 3pm EST. Send any agenda suggestions or additions to Marnese. If your announcement item will take more than 2-3 minutes, please get on the agenda ahead of time.

March 10: Governance Working Group Meeting

The Governance Working Group meets every other Thursday at 9am Central / 10am Eastern. To participate, please email Marnese.

March 14: Local Codes and Standards Working Group

This group is meeting on Monday, March 14 at 10am Central / 11am Eastern. To participate, contact Jacob.

March 16: Equity Working Group

This group meets every month on the third Tuesday at 12:30pm Central / 1:30pm Eastern for 90 minutes. To participate please email Marnese

March 22: New Member Orientation

New member orientation is every 4th Tuesday of the month at 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern. Click here to register.

March 22: Michigan Building Decarbonization Coalition Meeting

This group meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday at 1pm Central / 2pm Eastern. For more information, please contact Charlotte Jameson with MI Environmental Council. 

March 22: Affordable Housing/QAP Working Group

This group meets every third Tuesday at 3pm Central / 4pm Eastern. To participate please email Marnese

March 24: Governance Working Group Meeting

9am Central / 10am Eastern. To participate, please email Marnese.

April 6: Health Working Group

The Health Working Group meets monthly on the first Wednesday at 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern. To participate, please email Emma Hines.

April 7: AWHI Steering Committee

The Midwest Advanced Water Heating Initiative Steering Committee meetings the first Thursday of each month at 10-11am Central / 11am-12pm Eastern. To participate, please contact Jacob.

April 7: Governance Working Group Meeting

9am Central / 10am Eastern. To participate, please email Marnese.

For full details about all Coalition working groups, keep reading.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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March 8: Cooking With Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves

Physicians for Social Responsibility invites you to attend a new training, “Cooking With Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves.” This training exposes the harmful air pollutants produced by gas stoves, their negative impacts on the human body, the exacerbated impacts on vulnerable populations, and how health professionals can help their patients reduce their risk. Tuesday, March 8th at 12pm EST. Learn more and tune in here.

March 14: Michigan Climate Plan

Final comments on the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan are due March 14. We have an opportunity to submit comment as a coalition. If you are interested, please use this form HERE (thanks Ian for putting this together) by March 10. Make a copy of the form and send it back to our coalition email midwestdecarb@gmail.com.

You can find the current draft from EGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) here.

Based on our coalition 48-hour consensus turn around, we are asking that coalition members to provide feedback by March 10, 2022 at COB, so we can submit as MWBDC by March 14, 2022 and give coalition organizations time to use these notes as guidance for their own comments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Marnese jackson@fresh-energy.org.

EPA Clean Water Funding Opportunities

On February 18, EPA announced $20 million of funding available to support drinking water infrastructure through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) Grant Programs. Learn about that grant, and other ground water and drinking water funding, from EPA.

April 28: Application Deadline for EPA Research Funding on Energy Transition in Underserved Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. For purposes of this competition and the evaluation of applications, “underserved communities” refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, including people of color, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and other populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks. Click here for details.

May 1: Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency Scholarship

The Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency (IAEE) is currently accepting applications for a 2022 scholarship. To help ensure the continued success and development of future energy efficiency professionals in Iowa, a $1,000 scholarship may be awarded annually. All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply by May 1, 2022. The scholarship award will be announced in July and the award recipient will be highlighted at the IAEE Iowa Energy Summit. Payment will be sent to the school by August 2022. Click here for details.

Coalition Calendar

Stay up to date with Coalition meetings and relevant events here: midwestdecarb.org/calendar/.

Job Openings

RESOURCES

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Building Electrification: Programs and Best Practices, ACEEE, February 2022

Map: Energy Equity for Renters Policy Tracker, ACEEE, updated February 2022

All-Electric Homes: A Health Professional’s Guide, RMI, February 2022

Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. IPCC, February 2022

Ten Ways Your Community Can Go All-Electric: A Guide for Cities and Towns, Environment America and US PIRG, February 24, 2022

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL NEWS  

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How to Build Affordable Social Housing to Passive House Standard, TreeHugger, January 11, 2022

Programs to Electrify Buildings Are Heating Up, Nationwide Report Shows, ACEEE, February 3, 2022

*Ann Arbor partners with nonprofit to launch program to help residents electrify homes, MLive, February 4, 2022

2021 was a landmark year for energy efficiency legislation in US states, Salon, February 6, 2022

Vermont gas utility has a new service: helping to electrify your home, Energy News Network, February 7, 2022

People of color are more likely to live in multifamily housing with high heating bills. Modernizing Minnesota’s building codes to improve energy efficiency would save them money—and help the environment, Sahan Journal, February 9, 2022

How some energy efficiency incentives slow climate action, CBC (Canada), February 10, 2022

What are the hurdles to electrifying a home? Contractors and experts weigh in, Canary Media, February 17, 2022

*How electric stoves are poised to dethrone the mighty gas range, The Washington Post, February 17, 2022

White House unveils tool to determine eligibility for environmental justice aid, The Hill, February 18, 2022

Draughty window or door? Now it can be seen from space: Infrared satellites made by British company will use thermal imaging to pinpoint heat loss, The Guardian, February 20, 2022

“I’m struggling”: Soaring heating bills stress Minnesotans, Minnesota Reformer, February 21, 2022

CenterPoint Using Free Vacations, Customer Cash to Sell Builders on Gas Appliances, Energy and Policy Institute, February 23, 2022

Charting a Path for Energy Efficiency in MN Commercial Buildings, Public News Service, February 24, 2022

‘It’s a sanctuary’: the magic of quiet, low-cost, allergy-free ‘passive’ homes, The Guardian, February 24, 2022

Forget ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:’ A new book suggests that the best way to save the planet is through abundance, The Atlantic, February 25, 2022

IPCC report calls out misinformation as barrier to tackling climate crisis in North America, The Independent, February 28, 2022

We Need to Electrify, Heatpumpify, and Insulate Our Way Out of the Current Crises, TreeHugger, March 1, 2022

A net-zero future for gas utilities? Switching to underground thermal networks, Canary Media, March 1, 2022

A Battle Over Building Codes May Be The Most Important Climate Fight You’ve Never Heard Of, HuffPost, March 3, 2022

Big polluters tightened control over the nation’s building codes last year. Now fresh meddling from a gas utility has stoked fears for the future.

* Asterisk indicates that, unfortunately, the article is behind a paywall, and can only be viewed by paying subscribers.

THIS LISTSERV

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All Coalition members should now have been added to the Midwest BDC listserv. We will be using the listserv to distribute this monthly newsletter, monthly meeting agendas, and generally as a forum for discussion and resource sharing.  

If you are having trouble accessing the listserv, please email Eric Fowler.