Greetings Midwest BDC!

It’s time for Juneteenth and Pride. Study up on Black history and celebrate Juneteenth with the National Museum of African American History & Culture’s public programs. It’s also a great time to remember that buildings are for bodies, and we should design them for every body, whether you are queer, trans, Black, elderly, fat, sick, tired, or chronically-ill.

Our blog this month features how-to resources for converting our own buildings to be healthy, efficient, electric buildings. Please read, share, and let us know about resources or concepts we missed! Click here or scroll down to read.

Pardon the virtual “dust” as we rearrange our meeting invites. You should have received cancelations for the monthly and equity meetings from fowler@fresh-energy.org, and new invites from midwestdecarb@gmail.com for the monthly meeting and the equity meeting, which will now start 30 minutes earlier at 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern.

We would also like to share that Eric Fowler, Senior Coalition Communications and Policy Associate, is moving into a new role as Senior Policy Associate for Building Electrification at Fresh Energy. However, he’s not going far, and he’s not going yet. He’ll continue supporting our Coalition communications in a limited capacity while we work to hire a full time Communications Manager. Eric also plans to stay engaged with the Coalition as a partner going forward!

That leads right to our next update: Midwest BDC is hiring a Communications Manager! Stay tuned for the posting soon and help us get the word out.

Finally, keep reading to learn about the latest training opportunities from Midwest BDC: Building Decarbonization 101 on June 16, and Public Health Impacts of Buildings on June 23.

In solidarity,

– Marnese, Margaret, Jacob, and Eric

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

This month, we’re spotlighting two active Coalition members: Briana Parker & Gary Ringer.

Briana Parker

Briana Parker is a Policy Manager at Elevate Energy, a nonprofit organization designing and implementing programs that reduce costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most. In this role, Briana works to drive water policy, co-chairs the Diversity Racial Equity & Inclusion (DREI) committee and works to ensure diversity in the energy efficiency workforce in Michigan.

Before joining Elevate Energy, she studied law, worked as a social worker and volunteered for almost a decade as an organizer/ advocate at Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, a union for public recipients and low-income workers in the state of Michigan with the goal to fight to eliminate poverty in the United States. While volunteering in communities, Briana learned to advocate for affordable energy, water, and housing.

Briana holds a juris doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law, masters in community social work from Wayne State University, and a bachelor’s in social work from Marygrove College. 

Gary Ringer

For the past twenty years, Gary Ringer has served his community as a Firefighter for the great City of Detroit. The bulk of his commitment to the citizens of Detroit has been dedicated to the Cody Rouge/Warrendale community. After witnessing the mortgage foreclosure crisis devastate our area, he created Conscious Communities, a grassroots organization, to address the numerous inequities created by abandoned, blighted, and fire damaged properties. Gary was honored with the Cody Rouge “Trailblazers of Transformation” activist award for spearheading community relations, youth engagement, and blight remediation throughout the city. He’s been nominated, selected, and recognized in the 7th edition of “Who’s Who in Black Detroit” and received a Spirit of Detroit award presented by the Detroit City Council.  Gary has also received several prestigious accolades from the Detroit Fire Department including Community Service and Commissioner’s Citation Awards.

Gary was nominated for the Michigan Chronicle 40 under 40 Award, honoring individuals under the age 40, who are creating movements in their professional fields, personal lives, and community connections successfully. He acquired the inaugural Detroit Violence Prevention Initiative Award for “Safer Communities”. At the recognition ceremony, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of service and non-violence, Mr. Ringer and other community leaders were applauded for creating an allegiance to Detroit Public School youth concerning the conditions within their built environment.

Gary has served on the Governance Committee for Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance and the Board of Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation.  Gary is passionate about helping students achieve their dreams. As Founder/Executive Director of Conscious Communities, he and numerous volunteers help to increase math & science test scores. This is accomplished by addressing environmental issues and health inequities.

A graduate of the Leadership Academy sponsored by University of Michigan – Detroit, he’s been trained to build capacity, economic wealth, and sustainability. He also completed Southwest Solutions – Prosper Us Entrepreneurship Training, Kaufmann Fast Track and Build Institute’s – BUILD Social programs, which are designed for Metro Detroit residents in the City of Detroit seeking to start or expand a small business. And in 2018, Gary had the honor of being selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Culture of Health Leaders, three-year leadership development course. Culture of Health Leaders are people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance a Culture of Health where everyone living in America has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy life.

COALITION BLOG

So you want to decarbonize your home?

View this blog online or share it with this link.

We’ve heard from a number of Coalition members who are interested in doing their own decarbonization work at home, but don’t know where to start! We feel you. It can be hard to find the products, the contractors, and the necessary information.

The good news is, that’s changing. The better news is, you can help speed up the change by increasing demand for all-electric buildings wherever you have influence—at home, at work, in a church or mosque, or in other community spaces.

Building decarbonization means removing the hazard of fossil fuel usage in buildings and facilitating access to carbon-free heating, water heating, and cooking. Sealing air leaks and going all electric are key strategies for doing that.

Here is our working list of resources to learn how to find electric appliances, contractors, financing, and more so that you can start making the switch yourself. (Please reach out to us if you have any updates or suggestions about the resources listed here!)

General and One-Stop Guides:

Product Reviews and Guides:

  • Carbon Switch: Research, guides, and reviews that help people live more sustainably.

Financing and Incentives:

Contractors:

Multifamily Electrification:

Next step: organize your community

Know a resource we missed? Please share updates or feedback with Eric.

COALITION CALENDAR

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

June 1: Health Working Group

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

June 2: Governance Working Group Meeting

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

June 2: 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.

June 8: Coalition Monthly Meeting

Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, June 8 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.

June 15: Equity Working Group NEW TIME: 30 minutes earlier at Noon CST / 1pm EST

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

June 16: Governance Working Group Meeting

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

June 16: Policy Working Group Meeting

The Policy Working Group meets for 90 minutes every third Thursday at 10:30am Central / 11:30am Eastern. To participate, please email Marnese.

June 16: Building Decarbonization 101

How is decarbonization different from efficiency? Why are buildings so important? What’s all this about electrification? Join Midwest BDC and our Co-Director Jacob Serfling, Manager of Building Policy and Technology, for this overview of Building Decarbonization, and why it’s so critical to do well and to do equitably. Training is 90 minutes, Thursday, June 16, at Noon Central / 1pm Eastern. Register here.

June 21: Affordable Housing/QAP Working Group

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

June 22: Local Codes and Standards Working Group

This group meets every month on the fourth Wednesday at 3:30pm Central / 4:30pm Eastern. To participate, contact Jacob.

June 23: Public Health Impacts of Buildings

Is our indoor air quality making us sick? How do things like increased ventilation and eliminating fossil fuel appliances help? Join Emma Hines of RMI for a training organized by our Health Working Group. Training is 90 minutes, Thursday, June 23, at Noon Central / 1pm Eastern. Register here.

June 28: New Member Orientation

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

June 28: 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. 

June 30: Governance Working Group Meeting

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

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Winners Named

Part of the American-Made Challenges series and sponsored by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, this prize aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.

Among the winners were a number of Midwest representatives:

  • Green Door Initiative, Detroit, MI
  • Imani Green Works! Community Justice & Innovation, Chicago, IL
  • Native Sun REZ Network, Minneapolis, MN

Keep track of Federal Funding Opportunities

Want to catch the next prize or opportunity from DOE before winners are announced? Stay on top of upcoming deadlines and opportunities with the following newsletters and pages:

DOE Preparing $13 million in Geothermal Funding

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) intends to issue the Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Learn more about the upcoming opportunity here.

Do you have announcements to share?

Send them to Eric at fowler@fresh-energy.org

RESOURCES

Advanced Energy Infrastructure: A Roadmap for Implementation in Michigan, Michigan EIBC, May 24, 2022

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL NEWS  

DOE updates water heater rule for first time in two decades, E&E News, May 6, 2022

Heat pumps do work in the cold — Americans just don’t know it yet, Grist, May 9, 2022

Volts podcast: Andy Frank on how to sell whole-home retrofits to skeptical consumers, Volts, May 9, 2022

The Best Stove for Your Health and the Environment, Time, May 13, 2022

A new bill could speed up American electrification by 20 years, Canary Media, May 23, 2022

The U.S. Is Addicted To Gas Heating. A New Bill May Make Going Electric The Easy Choice. Huffpost, May 25, 2022

EPA Names 2022 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings, EPA, May 24, 2022

Habitat Kent completes first all-electric home, Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 27, 2022

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Launches Initiative to Modernize Building Codes, Improve Climate Resilience, and Reduce Energy Costs, White House, June 1, 2022

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