Canvassing Door-to-Door to Help Cambridge Win $5 Million


Rick Muehlke is canvassing door to door in Cambridge. He’s talking with residents about ways they can save energy, to help Cambridge win $5 million in the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Canvassing door to door is challenging work, but Rick knows people need to take action to reduce energy demands and help our city beat the 49 other U.S. cities competing for the prize. He also knows people are more likely take action when someone talks with them face-to-face.

Rick has done canvassing work for years, but he started to canvass in Cambridge on March 18. Rick explained, “It’s hard work, but it’s all worth it, to help reduce carbon emissions and help people save money by saving energy.” On a good day, Rick will knock on 50 doors, speak with … [view entry]

Help For Energy Hogs Workshops

In Boston and Cambridge, until March 31st, houses of worship and other nonprofits that own buildings with large energy bills for their size can qualify to get an energy-upgrade worth at least $35,000.  This upgrade could convert your heating system from oil to gas; install a new efficient heating system or other work that would help lower your energy bill significantly.

In partnership with Black Ministerial Alliance, the City of Cambridge and Northeast Utilities, HEET is offering the Help for Energy Hogs program.

An energy efficinecy developer willl pay for the upgrades, as well as own and insure any measures that they install.  The nonprofit will not have to pay any up-front money and the cost for the upgrades is not reflected on its balance sheet.

At each workshop, we will … [view entry]

Cambridge in the running for the $5M Georgetown U. Energy Prize!

Cambridge has been selected to advance to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that challenges us, along with other small- and medium-sized communities to develop and implement creative, sustainable, and replicable strategies to save energy.

Our commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency has put us in the running against leading small- and medium-sized communities across the county.

Cambridge will work together over the next two years with NSTAR, business associations, local schools and universities, residents, and our innovation and technology sector businesses to implement our energy-saving plan that will not only deliver financial benefits to residents, but will also help ensure the long-term sustainability of our community. Most importantly, we will develop new approaches that other communities can replicate—so that we can all do … [view entry]

Tips on Shutting Down Your Home for Winter Holiday Travel

Here are some easy but important tips to help you keep costs down, reduce your environmental impact, and keep the pipes from freezing while you are away this winter.

1. Set your thermostat between 52 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower and you could endanger your pipes when temperatures are freezing. Anything higher and you are wasting energy!

2. If you live in a single family home or condominium, you can also turn down your water heater or put it into vacation mode. There is no need to heat water to hot temperatures when no one is going to be using it.

3. Use all of your window defenses—make sure windows are closed and latched, and close curtains and blinds to help keep the cold from getting in. If you … [view entry]

How would you spend $500K to improve our city & environment?

Cambridge has allocated $500,000 for implementing citizen ideas as part of its Participatory Budget initiative. The projects must be capital projects on city property that benefit the public. Submit some climate resiliency, energy efficiency, or renewable energy ideas!

Brainstorming welcome. Check out the site below and share your ideas. Yes, that means you![view entry]

Repair Cafe – Saturday 9/27 from 10-2!

Don’t miss this fantastic free event! Bring anything of yours that needs fixing & get help repairing it. Save money, be good to the planet, AND have fun doing it! Details here.


repaircafeflyer[view entry]

Save the Dates! Upcoming Environmental Events

There’s a ton of great stuff to put on your calendar this month and next…

PARK(ing) Day is September 19 – The City of Cambridge will transform parking spaces into something more surprising for a day. It’s a great time to learn what the city is up to, meet your neighbors, and have some fun. CEA will be in Central Square, come say hi! (And pick up some swag!)

You can also find us at the Danehy Park Family Day! September 20 @ 11:00PM.

Join the City of Cambridge for this invigorating panel discussion “Getting towards Net Zero” at the Cambridge Main Library on September 23 @6:00PM. See: Invitation4_9_4_2014 for more details. Hosted by the City of Cambridge’s Net Zero Task Force.

Interested in what’s new in building energy efficiency? … [view entry]

We’re hiring! Energy Assistant Planner

We’re seeking a full-time Energy Assistant Planner for this 2-year contract position. Details below. See the original posting here.


The Energy Assistant Planner will assist with and manage a variety of energy outreach and planning activities, program analysis and data tracking, with a focus on community and stakeholder engagement in energy efficiency and renewable energy. This person will be a member of an eleven person team within the Environmental and Transportation Planning division of the Community Development Department, doing innovative and collaborative work with other city departments with a focus on renters, landlords, homeowners, businesses, schools, higher education institutions, community groups, non-profits and the local utility company and also including regional, state and federal energy agencies.

Primary responsibilities will be in three main areas:

Multi-Family Residential Energy [view entry]

Cambridge advances to the next round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize  

The City of Cambridge is one step  closer to $5 million for our energy efficiency efforts. On Thursday,  August 7, the Georgetown University Energy Prize announced 52 quarterfinalists that will advance to the next round in the two-year competition for a $5 million grand prize, and we’re on the list! Read the announcement here.

The prize will be awarded to the community the demonstrates the most effective and innovative ways to reduce energy consumption. To learn more about the competition, see

Stay tuned for updates on our progress! Interested in getting involved? Email Meghan Shaw at[view entry]

Money Saving Light Bulbs

During the summer of 2014 several high school students interned at the Cambridge Energy Alliance helping with canvassing and outreach across Cambridge. The interns also wrote a few blogs on topics they were interested in related to energy efficiency and solar power. The following is one of their blogs.  


Today, unfortunately, money is on the minds of many people. This blog offers a simple and straightforward strategy to save money, and energy, by using different types of light bulbs. Currently in the US most people use incandescent light bulbs in their households. However, slowly the tide has turned to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) bulbs, which offer greater service and economic satisfaction. But what is it that makes these light bulbs so different? Of course they all have differences in their structure, … [view entry]

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