The Midwest BDC convenes a number of working groups to address opportunities for engagement on building decarbonization work as well as to create a space for cross-sector collaboration. Want to learn more about our working groups or join one? Attend one of our monthly orientation meetings!
Develops outreach, engagement, and accountability strategies for equitable coalition building. Far from containing equity issues in a silo, this working group is tasked with insuring they are baked into all working group and staff activities. Work is currently divided into two sub-groups:
Finance (Grants and Stipends) Co-Leaders:
Education and Trainings Co-Leaders:
Develops structures and processes to guide the operation of the Coalition and sets expectations for coalition members. They are also tasked with keeping coalition work centered on our identified consensus priorities.
Works to dramatically improve state rules for federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to incentivize carbon-free and/or passive building design. Working group membership features a mix of green building experts, affordable housing non-profits, and community advocates recruited from target states. Members are actively conducting research interviews with housing developers to develop recommendations to increase inclusion of deep energy efficiency and electrification measures on affordable housing projects.
Identifies and strategizes key policy opportunities to ensure healthy buildings for all. This working group has succeeded as a space for local public health and community activists to connect with policy recommendations and research about the health impacts of fossil fuel burning appliances.
Local Building Codes and Standards
Identifies and educates around opportunities in building energy codes, stretch codes, building performance standards, all-electric new construction requirements, and other potential local government levers for decarbonizing buildings. Beginning in 2022, this group will be focused on helping state and local advocates familiarize themselves with different building policy options and determine what is appropriate for meeting their communities’ carbon reduction and equity goals.
This working group empowers Midwest advocates from a variety of backgrounds to capitalize on federal funding allocated in 2022-23 for building energy and climate mitigation work via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, with a specific emphasis on upholding federal Justice40 commitments. Working group members engage state and federal agencies via letters, written comment responses, participation in formal public hearings, and informal “one-on-one” meetings where an opportunity to advance coalition priorities via federal funding presents itself.
Check out this blog post about comments the Federal Policy Working Group submitted to the EPA to guide their Environmental and Climate Justice Program.
Interfaith Working Group
This working group was started by coalition members who have identified the impact local faith groups and places of worship have in their communities. The goal of this group is to serve congregations through education and training on the benefits of decarbonization. Faith leaders in this group advocate for electrification and energy efficiency through the lens of spiritual responsibility for the Earth as well as health, equity, and financial benefits. Co-Leaders:
Healing Justice Working Group
The Healing Justice Working Group is to create trauma-informed approaches as we do the work of MWBDC in an equitable way. This group is focused on internal coalition work, informing how we support and show up for ourselves and each other in this community. We create restorative, joyful, healing, and accountability practices so we can coexist together as coalition members.
Youth Working Group
The intent of this group is to engage the next generation of decarbonization leaders through networking, career development, and project support.
In Development: Utility Regulatory
MWBDC is currently offering a multi-part training series on utility regulation and its relationship to building decarbonization, with the intent of catalyzing an ongoing working group. Many MWBDC members have encountered obstacles when trying to work with their utility providers, especially program offerings that are not built to support electrification or equity considerations. Coalition members from disadvantaged or frontline communities require significant assistance to have input in these proceedings.
Midwest District Energy Collaborative
Works to identify deep decarbonization “Community Heat Pump” pilot projects as well as engagement opportunities with industry participants/system developers and customers.
Midwest Advanced Water Heating Initiative (with New Buildings Institute)
Works to accelerate the equitable adoption of heat pump water heaters (HPWH) in the Midwest. Currently MWBDC and New Buildings Institute staff are working with a steering committee of representatives from regional environmental justice organizations and building energy professionals to help identify opportunities and develop appropriate resources including informational decks on HPWH technology, existing program examples, and template proposals for state/local government or non-profit organizations.
Michigan Building Decarbonization Campaign
Rapidly driving down carbon emissions from Michigan buildings while advancing equitable job opportunities, health benefits, and energy savings.