Greetings Midwest BDC! 

Monday, September 5, marked Labor Day in the United States. As we celebrate workers and the labor movement, it is important to look into the future and continue advocating for a more just system for all. What would it look like to reimagine our labor as well as our energy and infrastructure? How can we prepare for the shifting work of urban planners, electricians, contractors, building managers, heating and cooling manufacturers, and other careers related to Building Decarbonization?  

Let’s thank the Labor movement for the prosperity and protections it has secured so far and keep working to answer these questions in a world full of change and potential. To reflect more on this holiday and how it connects to our work, read Marnese’s Labor Day Blog Post from 2021.

This month, we are welcoming our new Communications Manager, Maggie Heiser, and thanking Eric Fowler for all the great work he has done with MWBDC as he transitions to working for Fresh Energy full time as their Buildings Senior Policy Associate. Keep reading to learn more about our September Spotlight Coalition members, preview all the events that are happening this month, and check out our news and resources round-up.  

In solidarity,  

– Marnese, Margaret, Jacob, and Maggie 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

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This month, we’re spotlighting two active Coalition members: James Trice (Minnesota) and Quinn Biever (Illinois). Thank you to James and Quinn for all the work you do! 

James Trice 

“Over the years I have worked in tenants’ rights, community organizing, public policy, and environmental justice. My work centers people of color and low-income families and individuals. I believe that people have far more power than they realize and should lead in decisions that impact their lives. Those most affected by an issue have the greatest reason to invest in generating alternative outcomes. I was drawn to serve on Environmental Initiative’s board by the staff’s willingness to partner with Black, brown, and Indigenous communities in the fight against systemic racism, inequality, and oppression. The value placed on accountability, transparency, and honesty creates a space of trust and continuous improvement.”

James is a MWBDC coalition member and is now serving as the co-leader of the Federal Policy working group.  

Quinn Biever 

Quinn Biever is a Policy Analyst at Elevate, a nonprofit organization designing and implementing programs that reduce costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach everyone. In this role, he researches industry conditions and assists with the development of policy positions and advocacy materials while also tracking multi-party coalition decisions, state and federal legislation, and regulatory proceedings. With this knowledge, Quinn is responsible for drafting grant reports, board reports, presentations, regulatory documentation, and other deliverables. Policy Analysts also represent Elevate at policy forums, conference calls, and events to develop, support, and maintain relationships with external stakeholders and internal customers. Through a working partnership with the National Strategic Engagement Team, Quinn also works with the Wisconsin Climate Table, the Illinois and Missouri Energy Efficiency For All Coalitions, and the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition, as the representative from Elevate’s Policy Department.  

He is currently the co-lead for MWBDC’s QAP Working Group and truly appreciates the opportunity to work with so many kind and intelligent people who work hard to fight for their communities and the planet. He lives in Chicago and in his free time he is training for his second marathon. He loves going new places and finding great food, which is a big part of the reason he does all that running. Warm thanks and gratitude for the moment of recognition. 

COALITION CALENDAR 

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

September 7: Health Working Group 
The Health Working Group meets monthly on the first Wednesday at 12 PM CST / 1 PM EST. To participate, please email Emma Hines.  

September 8: Governance Working Group 
The Governance Working Group meets every other Thursday at 9 AM CST / 10 AM EST. To participate, please email Marnese.  

September 8: False Solutions 101 
11 AM CST / 12 PM EST 
How decarbonizing buildings can go wrong: identifying loopholes to prevent harm to communities. Join us online for this training facilitated by Mike Ewall of the Energy Justice Network. Register now!  

September 14: Coalition Monthly Meeting 
Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, September 14th at 2 PM CST / 3 PM 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.  

Agenda  

  1. Intro and Icebreaker (15 minutes)  
  2. Member Spotlights (10 minutes)  
  3. Governance Working Group Update (20 minutes)  
  4. Working Group Report-outs (10 minutes)  
  5. Announcements (10 minutes)  

September 15: Federal Policy Working Group 
The Federal Policy Working Group meets for 90 minutes every third Thursday at 10:30 AM CST / 11:30 AM EST. To participate, please email Marnese.  

September 20: Affordable Housing/QAP Working Group  
This group meets every third Tuesday of the month at 3:30 PMS CST/ 4:30 PM EST. To participate please email Marnese.   

September 21: Equity Working Group  
The Equity Working Group meets for 90 minutes every third Wednesday. This month’s meeting will be at 11:30 AM CST / 12:30 PM EST. To participate please email Marnese.  

September 22: Governance Working Group 
The Governance Working Group meets every other Thursday at 9 AM CST / 10 AM EST. To participate, please email Marnese.  

September 27: New Member Orientation  
New member orientation is every 4th  Tuesday of the month at 12 PM CST / 1 PM EST. Click here to register.   

September 27: Michigan Building Decarbonization Coalition Meeting  
This group meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday at 1 PM CST / 2 PM EST. For more information, please contact Charlotte Jameson with MI Environmental Council.   

September 28: Local Codes and Standards Working Group  
This group meets every month on the fourth Wednesday at 10 AM CST / 11 AM EST. To participate, contact Jacob.  

September 29: Net Zero is Fake Zero 
11 AM CST / 12 PM EST 
What is the difference between zero emissions and net zero? What calculations are used to determine “net” emissions? Join us for this online training with Basav Sen of the Institute for Policy Studies, Susannah Tuttle of NC Council of Churches, and Kelly Stone of ActionAidUSA. Register now! 

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

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New MWBDC Staff Member 

Maggie Heiser joined the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition staff team as the Communications Manager last week. Previously, Maggie has worked as the Communications Associate at the Ohio Environmental Council, where she served on the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee, facilitated the Emerging Leaders young professionals program, and co-led the yearly internship cohort.  

She has Bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Cinema from Denison University. While pursuing her undergraduate degrees, Maggie lived at the Denison Homestead, an intentional living-learning community that centered sustainability and communal leadership practices. In her free time, Maggie enjoys running, supporting her local movie theater, and cooking for friends and neighbors. (I am looking forward to working with you all! Please feel free to reach out to me at heiser@fresh-energy.org) 

RMI Inflation Reduction Act Webinar – September 7 

RMI is hosting a webinar and discussion of the building provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act on September 7th from 12:30 – 2 PM EST. There will be a joint presentation by RMI, Rewiring America, Sierra Club, NRDC, Earthjustice, National Housing Trust, Dandelion Energy, and others, with lots of time for discussion and planning.  

The presentation will cover: 

  • Details on building provisions in IRA 
  • IRA’s impact on building stakeholders 
  • Important issues to address through implementation 
  • Brief snapshot of non-“building-specific provisions” which could be relevant/useful to our equitable decarb work 

Here is the zoom link: https://rmi-org.zoom.us/j/96214504365?from=addon  

Kindly RSVP to Amanda (alaue@rmi.org) If you plan to attend with your name, organization, and geographic focus (important for breakout rooms). 

Fresh Energy – How networked geothermal can help get Minnesota off fossil gas Webinar – September 21 

Networked geothermal for heating and cooling has been making waves recently among clean energy advocates, researchers, and utilities as the “next big thing” in the energy transition. On September 21 from 12 – 1 CST, join the Energy We Can’t Afford Coalition and special guests from Minnesota (Joe Dammel, Fresh Energy) to Massachusetts (Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi, HEET) to dig into this new technology! Find more information and register here

Call for Speakers! 2023 Getting to Zero Forum 

The 2023 Getting to Zero Forum will take place from May 10 – 12 in Minneapolis (a virtual attendance option will also be available). The call for speakers is currently open, with topic areas of Building-Grid Integration, Codes and Policy, Design Innovation and Building Performance, Electrification, Embodied Carbon, Finance and Development, and Market Development. If you’re interested in speaking at the forum, submit a proposal before September 30. 

MWBDC October Trainings

Looking ahead to October, MWBDC will be hosting trainings on Environmental and Climate Justice 101, Building Decarbonization 101, and Heat Pump and Contractors Training. As always, you can register by visiting the calendar page on our website. Keep your eyes out in the coming months as more details are announced! 

EPA Grant Opportunity  

The EPA has announced grants with the intention of funding Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers. There will be a webinar and networking session on Zoom on September 15 from 2 – 4 PM EST, you can join the zoom meeting with this link. View more information on the grant and application hereThe deadline to apply has been extended to November 1. 

DOE SEP Grant Funding Opportunity  

On August 26, the DOE released its long-awaited funding allocations and application guidance to states for the Infrastructure Act’s $425 million injection into the State Energy Program (SEP). These are funds that are delivered down to state energy offices for a wide variety of potential projects and investments and can include building retrofits among many other uses in the energy sector.  

The application instructions can be found here. More information from the DOE on what the State Energy Program entails can be found here, and this booklet shares examples of how SEP funds were spent in each state in 2020.

The deadline to apply for funds is November 4. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this grant, join the Federal Policy Working Group (email Marnese to join), which is planning on holding discussions with SEP offices over the coming months to discuss the funding and opportunities to bolster decarbonization programs!  

MWBDC Fall 2022 Equity Summit: November 2, 3, 4 

Save the date, and contact Marnese to get involved in the planning! ​Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the event. 

midwestdecarb.org/summit   

Job Openings 

Digital Communications Associate | Fresh Energy 

Managing Director, Industry | Fresh Energy 

Campaign Representative – Building Decarbonization | Sierra Club 

Environmental Justice Organizer | Sierra Club 

Director of the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office | Department of Energy 

Director of the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office | Department of Energy 

RMI  

Do you have announcements for the October Newsletter? Share them with Maggie at heiser@fresh-energy.org

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RESOURCES 

How much money could you get with the Inflation Reduction Act? Enter your household information into this calculator from Rewiring America to find out.  
 
Cities and the inflation reduction act Columbia Law School – Climate Law Blog, August 22, 2022 

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL NEWS   

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USDA invests $121M in Michigan infrastructure to address climate change Michigan Farm News, August 25, 2022 

Finally, a heat pump water heater that plugs into a standard outlet Canary Media, August 29, 2022 

How Local Governments and Communities Are Taking Action to Get Fossil Fuels out of Buildings RMI, August 9. 2022 

Climate action for POC and low-income communities Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, August 17, 2022 

Three States Enact Integrated Plans to Decarbonize Buildings ACEEE, August 23, 2022 

Will the EPA crack down on pollution from buildings? Grist, August 23, 2022 

Inflation Reduction Act news round-up (we aren’t done talking about it quite yet!) 

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